A Canadian man who has been the subject of an Interpol warrant in Canada since 2009 received €35,000 from Wexford County Enterprise Board to set up a juice company.
Owner of New Ross-based company Vegus Foods, Michael Reynolds faces criminal proceedings with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada relating to his company Cell Specific Cancer Therapy, known as Zoetron Therapy. The therapy was said to kill cancerous cells with the use of an electromagnetic device that selectively heats and kills cancerous cells without harming normal cells.
Cancer patients were charged up to $20,000 each for several weeks of treatment which had to be paid up front through wiring to Canada. They then travelled at their own expense to Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Switzerland for the treatment.
Three civil cases were brought against the former accountant in the USA, Mexico and Switzerland. Canada has treated the matter as a criminal case. Michael Raynolds is currently wanted by the authorities in Canada for prosecution. A Red Notice issued by Interpol states that the 72-year-old faces 10 charges of making false or misleading representations and one charge of fraud for over $5000.
Commenting on the matter last week, Michael said that Switzerland and Mexico both brought civil cases against his company, which were declared 'non-lieu' and 'dismissed' respectively.
As part of a Stipulated Agreement with the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, Michael and his business partner were banned from marketing and selling their treatment. This settlement also prohibited the defendants from making false or misleading statements in connection with the marketing and sale of any cancer therapy or treatment, as well as any other service, programme, food, drug, or device. The agreement stated that nobody was guilty of any offence.
Michael said that Canada were the only ones to take out a criminal case.
'In the world of law, you have the case where the government brings on the criminal trial and it fails so then they bring in a civil one as it's easier to make a charge. A famous example of this is the OJ Simpson case,' he said. 'Here what happened is that the civil case failed and they came back with a criminal case.'
'The bottom line is that yes Canada has said that I'm a criminal and a fugitive. What I can tell you is very straight. I was found to be innocent based on the facts.'
Commenting on the Zoetron treatment, Michael said that the reason for his clinics was 'not to make money'.
'By training, I'm a chartered accountant. I tend to do things by the book. We had to be rigorous but the reason for having this clinic is not to make money. The reason was to get enough stats together to do formal clinical trial so that we will have proof it works.'
Michael went on to say that his reason for relocating to Ireland was to start a juice business and sell juice around the world.
'I knew if I set it up in the US or Canada, it might be difficult to sell the product in Europe where people are skeptical about American products. I knew if the product was made in Ireland, it would be easy to sell in Europe and welcomed with open arms in America. Also it was in 2008 and Ireland had all kinds of loans and grants for businesses,' he said.
'Unfortunately, we had the economic crisis and those loans were not available when I came over.'
His company Vegus Foods produces various vegetable juices at their headquarter in New Ross. Michael received €35,000 from Wexford County Enterprise Board in order to set up the business in 2008.
'Wexford County Enterprise Board gave the company €35,000 total as a loan and grant. All the terms of the agreement were met and the loan has been repaid,' he said.