FBI searches national Covid testing facility that charged government $120m for testing uninsured Americans

·2 min read

The FBI executed a search warrant at the Chicago-area headquarters of a nation-wide pop-up Covid testing company called the Centre for Covid Control, according to a spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General.

USA Today first reported that federal agents searched a facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, on Saturday.

The company reportedly has the same registered address as a laboratory operating under the name Doctors Clinical Laboratory that distributed thousands of PCR tests that used specimens collecting from the testing company.

Despite the shared addresses, the testing company insisted to NBC News that the lab and the company were separate entities.

The Independent has reached out to the company for comment.

Both the testing company and the lab have been under investigation by the federal Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services as well as by several state attorneys general.

According to federal records, the company has billed the government more than $120m for testing uninsured Americans.

A spokesman representing the Illinois attorney general confirmed that the office was working with federal law enforcement to investigate the company.

“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.

The company suspended its operations on 13 January amid growing complaints, and said it planned to re-open on 22 January, which was the day the search was executed.

The complaints ranged from late test results to concerns that there was no actual testing being done at all.

Ryan Jacobson, a lawyer hired to represent the company, told NBC News that they are working "closely" with investigators to resolve the situation.

“We are working closely with authorities to provide information and shed light on the operational challenges [Center for Covid Control] experienced at the height of the Omicron surge, which no doubt contributed to consumer complaints and public scrutiny,” he said.

The testing company grew over the course of 2021 and eventually expanded to 300 sites across the US.

Investigations into the lab and the company began in November after an inspection revealed numerous violations, including unlabeled specimens.

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