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Texas man sentenced to prison following COVID-19 hoax on social media

The charges Perez was convicted of included two counts of false information, and hoaxes related to a biological weapon. 

Updated: October 6, 2021 - 5:30pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A man from San Antonio, Texas was sentenced to prison after being convicted of perpetrating a hoax in which he falsely claimed to have paid a person with COVID-19 to lick produce at a local grocery store.

According to the Justice Department, Christopher Charles Perez was sentenced to 15 months in prison following the hoax.

The charges Perez was convicted of included two counts of false information, and hoaxes related to a biological weapon. 

“Those who would threaten to use COVID-19 as a weapon against others will be held accountable for their actions, even if the threat was a hoax,” said FBI agent Christopher Combs.

“Perez’s actions were knowingly designed to spread fear and panic and today’s sentencing illustrates the seriousness of this crime. The FBI would like to thank our law enforcement partners for their help in this case,” he said. 

Perez pleaded guilty following the discovery of two social media posts made in April 2020. 

Officials investigated the social media posts and later determined that they were fake.

In addition to prison time, Perez was also fined $1,000

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