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Tricorder scammer arrested after defrauding investors of $800,000

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A man who claimed he had invented a Star Trek-style tricorder to swindle more than $3 million from an investment group has been arrested for fraud. Howard Leventhal managed to secure $800,000 in funding from Florida's Paragon Financial Group by pretending he had both connections in the Canadian government and access to an advanced new medical scanner, but was caught by undercover agents when he tried to get an extra $2.5 million from the firm.

The fake McCoy's Home Health Tablet was named after Star Trek character Dr. Leonard McCoy, and presumably inspired by the show's tricorder scanner. Tricorder-like medical projects do currently exist — the Scanadu Scout broke crowdfunding records earlier this year — but Leventhal was hazy on how his device actually worked. His own documents described the tablet as "a platform to maximize the patient benefits through broadband-augmented in-home telemedicine."

The non-existent tablet was named after 'Star Trek' character Dr. McCoy

Leventhal was also found to have forged paperwork that purported to come from the Canadian government, promising $8.2 million to back up his scam. Bloomberg News reports Leventhal will be appearing in court to contest his science-fiction story on October 30th.