A California man is facing Federal health care fraud charges after investigators say he submitted tens of millions of false claims for allergy and COVID-19 testing kits to Medicare.
Federal prosecutors say the 57-year-old man was the president of a medical tech firm in Northern California that alleged itself to be the only laboratory on Earth that offers “microarray technology” to test for and diagnose allergies and coronavirus infection simply by testing a single drop of blood.
Investigators say the company began making the claim regarding allergy testing in 2018 at about the same time they began to pay kickbacks to doctors and other medical providers to run the tests on all patients regardless of medical necessity. He then allegedly went on to boast of these partnerships to potential investors, mischaracterizing to them the sales of his firm’s tests, the financial health of the firm, and potential future prospects for his company.
As coronavirus began to reach pandemic status, prosecutors say the defendant used the situation as an opportunity to kick his scam into high gear. He allegedly told investors that switching from allergy testing to COVID-19 testing was a very simple matter, leading the value of his company’s stocks to double in March of this year.
The defendant was charged in Federal court in Northern California last week with one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. His indictment represents the first charging by Federal prosecutors for COVID-19 related securities fraud.