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Wheat Ridge company stole more than $250K through deceptive COVID-19 marketing, AG says

About $252,440 was stolen from clients as a result of the fraud, the AG's office said.

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Four people accused of deceptively marketing and selling a product they knew could not kill the coronavirus or prevent surface recontamination have been indicted by a statewide Grand Jury on five counts of felony theft, the Colorado Attorney General's Office announced Friday.

A four were employees worked at Microforce, LLC in Wheat Ridge.

According to the indictment, Microforce owners Chad Butler, Michael Satchell, and Jeffery Blake Stewart, and business consultant Bryant Delaney advertised that the product used in their disinfecting service could bond to surfaces and create a spike layer to kill the Coronavirus and other bacteria and viruses.

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They also claimed, according to the indictment, that it could provide long-term disinfection for up to 90 days. The indictment alleges that Microforce almost exclusively used Monofoil X, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has never approved as an effective disinfectant against any public health bacteria or viruses or having any long-term effectiveness against them.

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There are no products currently recognized by the EPA that may claim residual efficacy against viruses for 30-90 days, according to the AG's office.

“False and misleading disinfectant claims concerning the Coronavirus and COVID-19 place people and communities at risk,” said Special Agent in Charge Lance Ehrig of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Colorado.

“As this case demonstrates, the EPA and its Colorado law enforcement partners are committed to the protection of public health.”

The EPA’s Denver office sent an advisory letter to Microforce on June 5, 2020, after an agency official learned the company was misrepresenting its product and what it could do.

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That letter advised the company that the EPA only authorized their products as having long-term effectiveness for deodorizing and not disinfecting, and Microforce was not authorized to make claims of residual efficacy for disinfecting against bacteria or viruses.

After receiving the letter, the indictment alleges, the employees continued to misrepresent their service on the Microforce website, in promotional materials, and in contacts with several Colorado businesses and organizations.

Microforce also, according to the AG's office, never informed their clients about the existence of the advisory letter and no one at the company attempted to correct the misrepresentations made to clients about the disinfecting service.

Some of the company's clients included:

  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association
  • Evergreen Park and Recreation District
  • Valor Christian High School
  • Elevations Credit Union
  • Glenmoor Country Club

The total amount in theft from the clients between April 1 until Dec. 31, 2020, is approximately $252,440, the AG's office said.

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