Brownsville man accused in stem cell scheme

December 28, 2011 7:05:02 AM PST
A Brownsville man is in federal custody facing charges of misrepresenting himself as a doctor and researcher to run an illegal stem cell mail business.

The FBI arrested 52-year-old Francisco Morales in Brownsville last week. A magistrate ordered him held without bond and be transferred to Houston for arraignment before a federal judge.

Harlingen television station KGBT reports a 19-page indictment unsealed Tuesday alleges Morales posed as a doctor and researcher to buy umbilical cords and placentas from a Del Rio maternity clinic, shipped them to a lab in Arizona and then forwarded them to a pathologist in South Carolina for harvesting of stem cells.

The 15-count indictment says he sold the stems for medical treatments and uses not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.