INtest company that claims to run more than 300 pop-up locations in the US is being investigated by state and federal agencies for allegedly providing inaccurate and even falsified test results.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Monday filed another lawsuit against the Illinois-based Center for COVID Control, calling it a “sham” testing center and accusing it of mistreating tests and providing false information. , if no test results at all.
Filed in King County Superior Court, the lawsuit alleges that the test outfit, founded in 2020 by couple Akbar Syed and Alya Siyaj, “failed to deliver fast, valid and accurate results” to customers. Employees were also instructed to “lie to patients on a daily basis,” Ferguson said in a statement.
The test center is also accused of incorrectly billing patients, according to the AG office. For example, when a patient called several times to ask for their results, staff were told to lie and say that their results were incomprehensible and another test was required. The company then charged the patient for two tests as opposed to just one.
By providing inaccurate test results to patients, the test center contributed to the spread of COVID-19, the lawsuit claims.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation had searched the Rolling Meadows, Illinois, headquarters of the Center for COVID Control, after many investigations had already been launched into the company, according to USA Today.
The FBI’s Chicago office did not respond to a request from CBS MoneyWatch for comment, as did the COVID Control Center. A spokesman for the test chain told USA Today that the company “has been in communication with a number of regulatory and law enforcement agencies regarding the company’s operations over the past several weeks.”
A statement on the Center for COVID Control’s website stated that all of the company’s operations are currently suspended and that it does not administer COVID-19 tests on any of its sites.
“CCC remains committed to providing the highest level of customer service and diagnostic quality and will not allow re-collection of patient samples to staff resources to allow CCC to operate at full capacity,” the company said, noting that it intends to “extra to train staff on sample handling, customer service and best practices for communication, such as compliance with regulatory guidelines. ”
At the height of its operations, the COVID Control Center conducted more than 300 test collection sites in the US and processed samples through a partner lab.
Syed and Siyaj showcased their wealth on social media, posting photos of luxury cars, including a Lamborghinis and a Ferrari, as well as a new home, USA Today reported.
Test samples “in trash bags”
The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office has also filed a lawsuit against the Center for COVID Control and its headquarters, alleging that they “either failed to deliver test results, or delivered test results that were falsified or inaccurate,” to Minnesotans who relying on the company of never receiving their COVID-19 test results.
Other Minnesotans said they got test results for other people. More complaints came from individuals who said they got results “with false or inaccurate information about their test,” according to state prosecutors.
Former employees of the company said that the demand for their services grew so fast that the test sites could not keep up. Former employees described monsters “in trash bags scattered across the office floor,” according to the attorney general’s office.
“I hold these companies liable for returning false or inaccurate results, when they completely returned them, for deceiving Minnesotans and undermining public confidence in testing,” Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement. .
The Center for COVID Control is also under investigation by the Office of the Attorney General of Illinois, the Oregon Department of Justice and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Several agencies have warned consumers to be tired of unregulated test outfits, such as rapid tests that are not authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. In addition, the increase in demand for COVID-19 tests has been caused by international travel rules and the proliferation of highly contagious Omicron variant fraudsters has encouraged the,