It looks like a national covid testing company has been a complete fraud, passing out fake test results this entire time. (Act surprised.) The company, called the Center for Covid Control, has billed the federal government over $120 million for testing uninsured people. Think about this for a second – they pushed that amount of money out the door without even determining that the company was, you know, real.
It is also worth noting that this kind of fraud would not be possible without the folly of “asymptomatic spread.” This illness is so bad, you don’t even need a viral load to spread it! Here’s your false positive, how can you even tell the difference?
Federal agents executed a search warrant at the Chicago-area headquarters of a national pop-up testing chain called the Center for COVID Control, a spokesperson for the Health and Human Services inspector general said Monday.
The FBI assisted in the search of the facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, said the spokesperson, Yvonne Gamble. An FBI spokesperson confirmed that the agency conducted “court-authorized law enforcement activity in Rolling Meadows” on Saturday.
The Center for COVID Control has the same registered address as a laboratory called Doctors Clinical Laboratory, which conducted hundreds of thousands of PCR tests using specimens collected by the pop-up testing company, a company spokesperson said.
Both the pop-up testing company and the lab have been under investigation by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as multiple state attorneys general.
The company has billed the federal government more than $120 million for testing uninsured people, according to federal records.A spokesperson for the Center for COVID Control did not respond to a request for comment about the search, which was first reported by USA Today. Emails and phone messages left at Doctors Clinical Laboratory were not returned.
In multiple public documents, the two companies have listed the same address at 1685 Winnetka Cir, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008. The Center for COVID Control’s spokesperson has previously said that the companies are separate entities and that there is “no cross-ownership.”
A spokesperson for the Illinois attorney general confirmed that the office is working with federal law enforcement agencies.
“We are working with the FBI and other law enforcement partners and will not comment on ongoing investigations as we work to hold accountable individuals who engage in unlawful conduct,” the spokesperson said.
In light of growing complaints, the Center for COVID Control paused its business activities Jan. 13. It was scheduled to reopen some sites around the country on Saturday, the day of the search.
The FBI has raided the Center for Covid Control’s headquarters in Illinois. WINK News has been investigating the company’s practices here in Southwest Florida for the past couple of weeks.
An FBI spokesperson confirmed to WINK News that agents conducted “court-authorized law enforcement activity in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.” That is where the Center for Covid Control maintains its headquarters.
The spokesperson would not share the reason for the raid.
The FBI raid comes two weeks after WINK News began its investigation into the Center for Covid Control at the test site in Bonita Springs that sent people results before they actually took the test. The person who claimed to run that location blamed a computer glitch for the mistakes.
There were two other Center for Covid Control locations in Southwest Florida. One was in Cape Coral and the other was at the Edison Mall.
On Saturday, WINK News found all three sites shut down.
In Bonita Springs, FPL shut off the electricity for non-payment. At the Edison mall, the city of Fort Myers put a sign saying, “You cannot open until you have a business tax receipt,” and in Cape Coral, the company appears to have moved out.
For weeks, WINK News witnessed the site do business. The first week of January saw car after car waiting in line. The manager of the Edison Mall testing location said the site opened in October and did business for two months and 24 days until the company put operations on pause on Jan. 14.
On Monday, WINK News spoke to the City of Fort Myers public information officer and asked her how a business could be open for so long without a business tax receipt.
She said she was under the impression the Center for Covid Control wasn’t open for that long.
WINK News reached out to Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson, who said a code violation is not all that uncommon. “In this case, my guess is that they saw this story, and they did the research and saw that it didn’t have they didn’t have the BTR (business tax receipt), and they went and issued the citation.”
Anderson said, “anytime we have a business that is operating in the city, and they don’t seem to be operating in accordance with the industry standards, that is a concern. I mean, we’re talking about people’s health and safety.”
Anderson said he’s very concerned about the news of the FBI raiding the Center for Covid Control headquarters in Illinois.
WINK News Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko spent 21 years with the FBI. He explained if the FBI is interested, this investigation has gone to a new level.
“What they had to do is gather enough probable cause to get a judge to sign a search warrant to look for elements of criminal activity. So that’s what they’re doing at the headquarters in one of these search warrants, trying to find information that might be available on computers, in mail financial transactions, telephone records,” said Kolko.
The raid at the Center for Covid Control headquarters took place just days after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed its own investigation into the company, and one of the labs it uses, after the state of Minnesota sued, claiming misleading, deceptive, and fraudulent activity.
The Florida attorney general will not confirm whether it is investigating the Center for Covid Control.
The Center for Covid Control paused operations on Jan. 14, the company saying at the time it would retrain its people and establish new procedures, then reopen Saturday the 22nd. That did not happen in Southwest Florida or at any of the company’s 275 locations nationwide.