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Venice Based Company Gave Fake Covid Results To Customers

A Venice Beach based Covid testing company, Sameday Health gave out fake negative covid-19 results to at least 500 customers.

Sameday Technologies, which operates under Sameday Health, has a total of 55 testing sites throughout the country, with 16 locations in Los Angeles County, including five in the city (one on the 3rd Street Promenade). Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón filed the complaint, alleging that Sameday Health and its CEO Felix Huettenback falsely advertised that test results would be provided to customers within 24 hours, knowing that it couldn’t make that guarantee. The city also alleged that they falsified and forged COVID-19 test results to at least 500 customers when it couldn’t provide real results within 24 hours.

These assholes forged COVID-19 test results to at least 500 customers when it couldn’t provide real results within 24 hours, putting their customers' lives and lives of their families at risk.

The company, and it's asshole CEO Felix Huettenbach re to pay $22.5 for fake test results, false advertising and insurance fraud.

Sameday Health on Yelp.

City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced two settlements valued at a total of $26,454,593.


One settlement for $22.5 million resolved allegations that the Venice-based national COVID-testing chain Sameday Technologies (doing business as Sameday Health) and its CEO Felix Huettenbach faked and forged COVID-19 test results, and engaged in false advertising and insurance fraud. City Attorney Feuer also reached a $3.9 million settlement with Dr. Jeff Toll, M.D., a Los Angeles-based doctor, to resolve allegations that he was a partner in Sameday Health’s alleged insurance fraud.

Sameday Health operates 55 testing locations nationwide, with 16 locations in L.A. County and five in the City, and has made tens of millions in revenue since the beginning of the pandemic. The settlements require the defendants to pay restitution and civil penalties, and comply with permanent injunctions prohibiting them from participating in the alleged activities that led to the City Attorney’s investigation. L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón joined Feuer in this civil enforcement action.

“It’s beyond outrageous that anyone would falsify COVID tests, as we allege happened here. If you get a negative test, you assume it’s safe to go to work, visit family and friends, or take a vacation. But the victims of this alleged scheme might unknowingly have spread COVID to others or failed to receive timely and appropriate care themselves,” said Feuer. “I just got over COVID myself and know how essential it is to have accurate test results. This landmark resolution will stop this alleged scheme, give restitution to consumers and insurers, and impose severe penalties.”

“We’ve intervened to protect consumers in numerous major COVID-related matters, but this may be the most significant consumer protection case to emerge from the pandemic,” Feuer added.

“My office is dedicated to protecting the people of Los Angeles County from dangerous and costly scams like these and seeking appropriate action against those who take advantage of consumers through fraudulent business practices,” District Attorney Gascón said. “It is not only illegal but also unconscionable to defraud people seeking medical assistance in the midst of a public health crisis. We will continue to work to bring justice to victims of all crimes, including fraud.”

According to the complaint, Sameday Health and Huettenbach allegedly falsely advertised that they could deliver COVID-19 test results to consumers within 24-hours, knowing they could not truthfully make that guarantee. When they could not fulfill their false promises, Sameday Health and Huettenbach allegedly faked, falsified and forged COVID-19 test results for at least 500 customers by manipulating old PDF lab reports and results from previous tests. The complaint alleges that, in some cases, Sameday Health sent these fake results to customers before their tests had been run or even delivered to the lab for testing. The complaint also alleges that Sameday Health sometimes sent fake results to customers whose tests were never processed by a lab—meaning that even though the customer received a “negative” result from Sameday Health, Sameday Health had no way of knowing whether the customer actually tested positive for COVID-19.

The two complaints further allege that Sameday Health and Huettenbach partnered with Toll to engage in insurance fraud by charging insurance companies that were already paying for COVID-19 tests an additional fee for medically unnecessary medical consultations. According to the complaint against Sameday Health, Sameday Health and Huettenbach required customers paying with insurance to consent to and participate in medically unnecessary consultations with doctors in order obtain a COVID-19 test. On the other hand, consumers paying with cash, the complaints allege, were not required or even able to obtain these consultations. Sameday Health allegedly targeted its insured consumers and steered them to Toll for superficial, two to three-minute-long telemedicine visits for which they charged health insurers approximately $450. In exchange for steering these customers to him, Toll allegedly gave Sameday Health a large portion of his profits from the consultations as a kickback. In all, the Sameday Health complaint alleges that Sameday Health made millions of dollars from California-based insurance claims alone.

In the settlement, Sameday Health and Huettenbach both agree to be subject to a permanent injunction that prohibits them from engaging in the unlawful business practices alleged in the complaint. The injunction also prohibits Huettenbach personally from accessing any test result or medical record belonging to any of Sameday Health’s customers. In addition to the permanent injunction, Sameday Health and Huettenbach have agreed to pay more than $9.5 million in restitution and nearly $13 million in civil penalties. In addition, the settlement requires Sameday Health to hire, and spend up to $100,000 to retain, an independent monitor to ensure that it does not send customers fake COVID-19 test results. Toll, on the other hand, agrees to be enjoined from engaging in any of the conduct alleged against him in the complaint and to pay $1.15 million in civil penalties and more than $2.8 million in restitution.

In all, these settlements require defendants to pay nearly $26.5 million, including more than $12.4 million in restitution and almost $14 million in civil penalties.

All of the defendants cooperated with the investigation into this matter.

Feuer advises those seeking COVID-19 tests to book one through a trusted healthcare provider or with Health Services of L.A. County. He reminds Angelenos to confirm in advance whether the testing service requires customers to pay for services with insurance or cash—especially those that advertise “free” services.

Feuer also advises those obtaining COVID-19 tests to be vigilant concerning tests with possible fake results. Customers should be on the lookout for COVID-19 testing services claiming that they will deliver results to customers one way (such as through a link to an online portal) but actually deliver the results in a different way (such as by attaching a PDF or simply writing the result in an email) or sending results that include any suspicious or incorrect information (such as incorrect dates or locations). These practices could indicate that the results are not trustworthy. Please report any suspicious COVID-19 testing services on the City Attorney’s online Consumer Complaint portal.

Los Angeles Supervising Deputy City Attorney Christina Tusan and Deputy City Attorneys William Pletcher, Alex Bergjans, Carr Tekosky, Louisa Kirakosian and Sarah Spielberger, all of the City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit, and Head Deputy District Attorney Hoon Chun and Deputy District Attorney Seza Mikikian, of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division, are litigating this matter.

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