SD man sentenced for selling phony cancer pills

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A 74-year-old South Dakota man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for acting as a doctor to test someone for cancer and prescribing pills he said cured the disease.

John Martin, of Spearfish, had pleaded guilty in federal court with mail fraud and misbranding of a drug.

Authorities say that Martin, who is not a doctor, instructed a person to send him money and samples of blood, saliva and hair so he could test the samples for cancer. He told the victim it was colon cancer and charged for herbal supplement pills as a treatment. Martin later told the victim the cancer was cured.

In another case Martin told a man he had liver cancer, when he did not.

Martin was ordered to pay back more than $209,000. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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