DENVER (CBS4) — The Colorado Attorney General’s Office announced Friday a grand jury indictment against four individuals and a Wheat Ridge-based company for deceptively marketing and selling a disinfecting service with a product they knew could not kill the Coronavirus.
In a press release, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser stated the proprietors of Microforce advertised their cleaning service’s product as capable of bonding to surfaces and creating a protective layer that eliminated the Coronarvirus, as well as other bacteria and viruses, for up to 90 days.
Microforce almost exclusively used Monofoil X in its disinfecting services, according to the state’s prosecutors.
But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has never approved Monofoil X as an effective disinfectant against public health bacteria or viruses. In fact, “There are no products currently recognized by the EPA that may claim residual efficacy against viruses for 30-90 days,” as stated in the press release.
“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,” the attorney general’s office states in the press release. “The 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.”
But Microforce, the state contends, continued to misrepresent the product’s capabilities, and subsequently the results of its services, through its website, promotional materials, and client contacts.
According to the grand jury indictment handed down earlier this month, those clients included Microforce clients included Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Evergreen Park and Recreation District, Valor Christian High School, Elevations Credit Union, and Glenmoor Country Club.
Through the alleged misrepresentation, Microforce is accused of stealing more than $252,000 dollars from these clients between April 1, 2020 and the end of that year.
Microforce’s owners – Chad Butler, 51; Michael Satchell, 55; and Jeffery Blake Stewart, 35 – and a business consultant – Bryant Delaney, 65 – have been charged with three to five felony theft charges each. A case against the company itself has also been filed.
Delaney already turned himself in and posted a $10,000 cash/surety bond to gain his release, per online court records. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 27.
A spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson confirms the other three men have not yet been booked into the jail.
All four are expected to appear at the same court hearing scheduled March 10.