Man Accused In $83.6 Million Fraudulent COVID-19 Testing Scheme Out On Bond


(The Middle Sq.)

A person federal prosecutors allege is accountable for an $83.6 million fraudulent COVID-19 testing scheme is out on bond after placing up the deed to his 5,600-square-foot suburban Chicago dwelling.

Prosecutors don’t simply need the house, which is value a minimum of $865,000. They’re searching for $83,578,387.89.

Prosecutors are searching for forfeiture of 5 luxurious automobiles and a number of other financial institution accounts. The autos embody a 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250, a 2021 Land Rover Vary Rover HSE, a 2021 Lamborghini Urus, a 2021 Bentley and a 2022 Tesla X. They additional need a checking account with about $6.eight million, $810,000 in an E*Commerce account, $500,000 in a Constancy Investments account and $245,814 in a Coinbase account, in keeping with courtroom information. 

Zishan Alvi, 44, of Inverness, stated Wednesday he plans to battle the fees towards him. 

“We simply acquired to battle this and show my innocence,” Alvi stated. “The reality all the time comes out.” 

He declined to touch upon specifics and referred extra inquiries to his lawyer, Murdoch Walker. Walker didn’t reply to an e mail or return a voicemail searching for remark. 

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Prosecutors allege Alvi co-owned and operated a Chicago laboratory, LabElite, that claimed to supply COVID-19 testing. The lab sought reimbursement for checks that had been by no means carried out, had been carried out improperly, or had been already paid for by the shopper. Alvi faces ten counts of wire fraud and one depend of theft of presidency funds. 

The lab additionally supplied a service the place individuals and firms may pay a charge to obtain COVID-19 PCR check ends in an expedited vogue. The lab enrolled the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers’ Well being Assets and Providers Administration Uninsured Program in December 2020. This system was designed to cowl COVID-19 testing prices for individuals with out medical insurance protection, in keeping with an indictment filed by prosecutors.

Prosecutors stated the lab submitted fraudulent claims and delivered inaccurate and unreliable check outcomes to the general public. The claims sought reimbursement for checks that prosecutors say Alvi knew had not carried out or had been unreliable and in some instances had already been paid for by the particular person.

Prosecutors stated Alvi supplied detrimental check outcomes to be launched to individuals who had supplied a specimen for testing, however the check had not been carried out. They additional allege that Alvi directed lab staff to falsely point out in lab information that COVID-19 checks had been carried out for these individuals, when Alvi knew that the check specimens had been discarded at his course and had not been examined. To hide the truth that checks weren’t carried out, the lab “didn’t launch constructive COVID-19 outcomes on specimens the place checks had been ultimately carried out, as a result of a purported detrimental consequence had already been launched,” in keeping with the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace. 

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The lab collected greater than $83.6 million from the HRSA Uninsured Program as cost for COVID-19 checks purportedly carried out by the lab. 

“The fees on this case allege that the defendant disregarded public well being considerations in favor of non-public monetary acquire,” Performing U.S. Legal professional Morris Pasqual stated in an announcement. “Doing so by compromising taxpayer-funded packages supposed to battle the unfold of coronavirus was notably reprehensible.”

Every depend of wire fraud is punishable by as much as 20 years in federal jail, and the depend of theft of presidency funds is punishable by as much as 10 years in federal jail. 

Alvi put up the deed to his Inverness dwelling as a part of an settlement to be launched earlier than trial, in keeping with courtroom information.  

Syndicated with permission from The Middle Sq..

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