Fake 24-hour Covid-19 testing company fined $22 million in California
A California Covid-19 testing company agreed to pay more than $22 million in fines after they admitted to falsifying test results for patients.
Sameday Technologies, which operates Sameday Health testing centers nationwide, has admitted to the false claim that its lab can circulate Covid tests within 24 hours.
In some cases, test results were given to patients even before the samples reached the lab while others were not tested at all. Consumers were paid $195 for dummy tests.
According to the criminal complaint filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in the case, the company learned that it could not meet the allegations it made.
The complaint said labs that worked with Sameday told the company that results could not be changed so quickly.
Sameday founder, Felix Huettenbach alumnus of MIT and University of California, Berkeley
Physician and podcast host Dr. Jeff Toll, pictured above, is accused of conducting patient checks for Sameday that were mandatory for clients with health insurance.
On his Instagram page, Toll has more than 36,000 followers. In his statement, he told them he is proud of the work his office has done during the Covid-19 pandemic
The city’s attorney said the tests of about 500 people were either falsified or falsified. The company did this by tampering with old PDFs of test results.
In a separate statement, City Attorney Mike Foer called Sameday’s behavior “outrageous.”
Foer said patients went to Sameday in good faith and when they received negative test results, they continued to live their lives by going to work and on vacation. Foer said they could have spread Covid the whole time.
The criminal complaint continues, accusing Felix Huettenbach, CEO of Sameday Health, of ordering that insured patients be examined by a physician during the testing process.
According to his LinkedIn page, Huettenbach founded Sameday in September 2020. He describes the company on his page as “rebuilding the healthcare system with the patient at the center.”
The complaint says that those paying in cash did not need to see a doctor and were not allowed to contact the doctor.
Authorities accuse the famous doctor, Jeff Toll, of being the doctor doing the tests. For these checks, the complaint says the Tools office charged insurers more than $400 per consultation.
Toll is accused of giving some of the profits he made from the shows to Sameday as a “bribe”.
Sameday was founded in 2020 by Huettenback. He claimed his company would rebuild the healthcare system with the patient at the center
Toll’s fines amount to $3.9 million. It is separate from Sameday’s $22 million fine
In March 2022, Sameday published an article on their website about how profitable it would be to set up a Covid-19 testing company in Los Angeles.
The complaint described the examinations as “not medically necessary.”
As part of the settlement, Toll will have to pay $2.8 million in compensation and $1.15 million in civil penalties. This is separate from Sameday fine.
In a Facebook post, Toll denied any wrongdoing in the case, saying the settlement was not an admission of guilt.
Toll wrote in part, “I take my professional ethics very seriously and am very proud of the number of patients we have provided care for during this pandemic.”
Toll said it was a separate entity from Sameday and that it only paid for services that were “already rendered”.
The doctor added: “Although I did nothing wrong, I chose to settle the matter with City because challenging the allegations and winning the trial would have cost me more.” In total, Toll’s fines are $3.9 million.
After the settlement, Sameday told the Los Angeles Times in a statement: “In the early days, amid the chaos of massive increases in demand for services, and shortages of supplies, we failed to meet the standards of excellence that our customers deserve. We corrected issues that arose in 2020 and made significant investments in compliance and regulations to ensure we meet our customers’ expectations.
In March 2022, the company shared an article on its website from the Los Angeles Business Journal about how profitable it would be to set up a Covid-19 testing company in Los Angeles.
The case comes amid renewed interest in Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes who was found in 2015 to have misled the public about her company’s revolutionary blood-testing capabilities. As of April 2022, Holmes, 38, is awaiting sentencing on charges of electronic fraud. In total, she could face up to 20 years in prison.
Los Angeles Attorney General Mike Foer called Sameday’s behavior ‘outrageous’ and urged citizens to exercise extreme caution in seeking out services related to Covid-19.