FBI searches headquarters of embattled COVID testing lab

·1 min read
fbi federal bureau of investigation hate crimes 2020 statistics
fbi federal bureau of investigation hate crimes 2020 statistics


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Saturday searched the Illinois headquarters of a national COVID-19 testing company that is under federal and state investigation.

"The FBI was conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in Rolling Meadows yesterday," Siobhan Johnson, a spokesperson for the FBI's Chicago office, said to USA Today on Sunday.

The test company, known as the Center for COVID Control, has received over $124 million from the federal government as reimbursement for COVID-19 testing. The company once operated over 300 locations in 26 states and gathered over 80,000 COVID-19 tests daily.

But Akbar Syed, 35, and his wife, Aleya Siyaj, 29, who run the Center for COVID Control, have drawn attention by posting photos and videos on social media showcasing their wealth, including images of two Lamborghinis, a 2018 Ford GT, a Ferrari Enzo and a new $1.36 million mansion, per USA Today.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has reported multiple "deficiencies" at the labs, which are also being investigated by the Illinois Attorney General's Office and the Oregon Department of Justice.

Annie Thompson, an Illinois Attorney General's Office spokesperson, told USA Today that the attorney general "is absolutely committed to protecting residents from those who attempt to profit off of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic," adding the office is working with the FBI and other agencies.

Last week, the Minnesota Attorney General's Office sued the company and its primary laboratory, Doctors Clinical Lab, citing concerns with fraudulent and deceptive practices.

The Hill has reached out to the FBI's Chicago office and to the Center for COVID Control for comment.

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