CHARLOTTE — Charlotte televangelist Jim Bakker served five years in prison for fraud in the early 1990s, and now, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, he is once again garnering attention.
A guest on his new show was pushing a natural product that she claimed could kill the coronavirus.
Sherrill Sellman said Silver Solution is effective against the virus.
The New York attorney general took notice and sent Bakker a cease-and-desist order.
Bakker sells a lot of items on the website for his ministry in Missouri, including the pricey Silver Solution.
Bakker made the pitch during a show in February when he spoke with Sellman about the product, which is basically colloidal silver.
The National Institutes of Health said colloidal silver has no known function or benefits, which is why the New York attorney general sent Bakker the order.
Any representation that Silver Solution is effective at combating or treating the current strain of coronavirus violates New York state law, according to the cease-and-desist order.
In the mid-'80s, Bakker and his then-wife, Tammy Faye Bakker, were on TV raising money for their PTL ministry in Fort Mill until he went to prison on mail and wire fraud charges.
“Well, it’s certainly reminiscent of the past and the past here in Charlotte,” attorney James Wyatt said.
He has been practicing law since the PTL days and has represented several clients charged with white-collar crimes.
Wyatt said if Bakker keeps selling Silver Solution as a cure for the coronavirus, he may find himself in trouble again.
“He could be facing civil lawsuits seeking to stop him from doing that,” Wyatt said. “He could, if it persists and if it’s egregious enough, face other things such as potential criminal charges.”
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