DeSantis, Fauci and others are not in the diamond mining business together

Looking for diamonds? dr So are Anthony Fauci and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. At least that’s what a conspiracy theory says.

The viral claim was shared across social media platforms, including this November 13 Instagram post. It included a screenshot of a tweet that said DeSantis and Fauci, along with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Dr. Robert Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “ALL together in a diamond mining business in Oklahoma!”

The Instagram post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat hoaxes and misinformation on its news feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, owner of Instagram and Facebook.)

There is no evidence that these government officials are involved in any diamond mining business in Oklahoma. For one, the only active diamond mine in the United States is in Murfreesboro, Arkansas – not in Oklahoma.

DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin confirmed to PolitiFact that the claim was “completely false.”

The claim includes a screenshot of a form, Uniform Commercial Code Financing Statement, or UCC as alleged evidence. The form is submitted by a creditor “as a public statement that the creditor has the right to take possession of the assets in repayment of the underlying debt,” according to Value Penguin, a financial content and research website.

However, “In theory, anyone can file a UCC-1 against anyone,” according to Wolters Kluwer, an information services company. In a June 2021 article, the company identified two cases that “show how easy it is for unauthorized UCC-1s to be filed,” one involving a man suing film studios for $400 million for saying , they founded the movie “Titanic”. about his life story (a case that was dismissed).

In the diamond mine claim, Paul Michael Walters filed the Uniform Commercial Code Funding Statement, which was screenshotted in the Instagram post. He told PolitiFact that he filed it in January 2021 to protest public safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legal experts we spoke to said the form is invalid because it was misused.

We also found a letter Walters wrote to the DeSantis administration in August 2020 denouncing mask mandates.

Walters said he formerly owned The Paragon Diamonds LLC, a company named in the UCC filing that appears to form the basis of the diamond mining claim. But it’s not a diamond mining company and wasn’t registered in Oklahoma, Walters said. He said it was registered in Wyoming and we found it on the Wyoming Secretary of State’s business register.

We evaluate the claim that DeSantis, Fauci, Moody and Redfield are in a diamond mining deal Pants on Fire!

PolitiFact researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.


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