A Venice-based COVID-19 testing company doing business as “Sameday Health” will pay more than $20 million after being accused of falsifying test results, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Thursday.
Calling alleged actions by a COVID-19 testing company a serious violation of public trust, 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.”
🚨If you went to Sameday Health for your COVID test:
— The Office of Mike Feuer, L.A. City Attorney (@CityAttorneyLA) April 22, 2022
Story on the $26.45 million settlement for Sameday Health’s fake COVID tests and insurance fraud now on web, Promenade location still booking tests this morning. https://t.co/dBcW7ifpq5 pic.twitter.com/cCIiibunVb
— Clara Harter (@_ClaraHarter) April 21, 2022
FOX 11 reported:
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.
The complaint said that the company would manipulate old PDF lab reports from previous tests to forge the results.
The Hill added:
As part of the settlement, Sameday Health and its CEO Felix Huettenbach agreed to pay more than $9.5 million in restitution and nearly $13 million in civil penalties, the city attorney’s office said. The company is now required to hire an independent monitor to oversee test results.
“Sameday Health was founded in September 2020 in an effort to make fast, reliable, Covid testing available to everyone. In the early days, amidst the chaos of massive surges in demand for services, and shortages in supplies, we failed to meet the standards for excellence our customers deserve,” Sameday Health said in a statement.
“We have corrected the problems that arose back in 2020 and have made significant investments in compliance and systems to ensure that we meet our customers’ expectations. We agreed to settle with the City Attorney and the LA District Attorney in order to move forward and to allow the 1200 men and women of Sameday to place their focus on providing top-level service to the communities we serve.”
FOX 11 aired this video report: