Howard Leventhal is facing charges of fraud for soliciting funding from Paragon Financial Group, who are based in Florida, to create a tricorder.
The ever popular pop-culture device, which first originated into the classic and original Star Trek series, is a must-have fantasy for many fans of the show. It seems that Leventhal tired to cash in on this fantasy and actually managed to procure $800,000 in funding to build this tricorder, which he called “McCoy Home Health Tablet”. The only problem? It never existed.
As reported by Bloomberg, Leventhal duped Paragon Financial Group by reporting that he had Health Canada funding his “device”, and Paragon agreed to give another $800,000 to fund his research which Leventhal duefully accepted. It isn’t clear if Paragon Financial Group has yet recovered the amount or not.
Leventhal had faked the contract between his own non-existent company and Health Canada, but unfortunately for him he had let his fake information fall into the hands of an agent who was working undercover. Eventually, Leventhal was exposed and is now facing criminal charges. Was it worth it? I’m sure Trekkies would say $800,000 is a small price to pay for a tricorder.