San Diego

Couple pleads guilty to giving fake COVID tests to people

Criminal fees have been filed in opposition to 138 people in 31 federal districts throughout the nation, together with the Southern District of California primarily based in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO — The Justice Department introduced fees in an enormous well being care fraud scheme that will have incurred $1.4 billion in losses.

A married couple working their very own clinic say they have been making an attempt to assist after they supplied COVID-19 testing however the choose within the case says they deliberately mislead people and the coronavirus testing by no means occurred.

“In May of 2021, the department announced a historic nationwide action against COVID-19 healthcare fraud. And just a few short months later, we are announcing another round of prosecutions,” stated Kenneth A. Polite, Jr., US Asst. Attorney General. 

After a six-week, nationwide federal operation, felony fees have been filed in opposition to 138 people in 31 federal districts throughout the nation, together with the Southern District of California primarily based in San Diego.

Roselia Kubeck and Rosario Gonzalez pleaded guilty this month for falsely claiming to present COVID-19 testing final year. Prosecutors say they went door-to-door at senior complexes in El Centro and Calexico, CA.

“It was a general respiratory pathogens panel, which tested for a whole variety of pathogens but actually did not include COVID-19,” stated Valerie Chu, Asst. US Attorney, Southern District of CA.   

Chu stated the couple was making an attempt to get new sufferers for Specialty Health Center, the clinic they’d simply opened. She stated in addition they took urine samples from people with out telling them it had nothing to do with coronavirus testing.

“Then they would submit these to a laboratory with requisition forms indicating that they were needed because a person had acute respiratory distress. All the while, any result wouldn’t have tested for COVID-19,” Chu stated. 

The US Attorney’s office says it was tipped off by a property supervisor at one of many senior dwelling complexes. Now Chu needs people to watch out for healthcare scammers, particularly seniors and people with disabilities, who’ve Medicare and Medi-Cal.

“Trust in your primary care physician. That is the person who knows your history, who knows the conditions that you have. When they make a recommendation, typically they’re looking out for you and your best interest,” Chu stated. 

Both Kubeck and Gonzalez confronted a Class A misdemeanor cost. They have been positioned on probation for 3 years and ordered to pay over $14,000 in restitution to Medicare and Medi-cal.

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