Center for COVID Control owners banned from doing business in Washington

The Center for COVID Control — a coronavirus testing company lambasted by the attorney general as a “scam” — is now permanently banned from doing business in Washington.

AG Bob Ferguson announced Thursday that the owners of the company can no longer run a business in the state.

“As a result of our case, the owners of the Center for COVID Control are permanently banned from doing business in Washington, after operating bogus COVID testing sites,” Ferguson wrote. “The company is also reportedly being investigated by federal and other state authorities.”

The company came under scrutiny from the Better Business Bureau in January 2022 after being inundated with negative reviews and complaints, accusing them of scamming customers.

After those complaints, the Center for COVID Control suspended operations at its 300 testing sites.

In late January, Ferguson filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming it “failed to provide prompt, valid, and accurate results,” made misleading promises of results within 48 hours, and allegedly ordered its employees to “lie to patients on a daily basis”. “

In February 2022, a King County judge granted a preliminary injunction to stop the company from operating in the state.

According to the attorney general’s office, the company billed the federal government for $124 million in testing for “uninsured” patients. If patients could not immediately provide their insurance information, they were marked as uninsured; at the end of their operations, they had automatically filled in the “uninsured” forms for each patient, even if they were insured.

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Ferguson’s lawsuit against the company demands they end all false test reports, pay up to $12,500 for each consumer protection law violation, pay $5,000 in enhanced penalties for target vulnerable populations and relinquish any profit the company has made from illegal conduct.

Despite the high dollar amounts, the lawsuit was settled and the owners of the business were ordered to pay $42,000 with a 12% interest rate, according to the consent decree.

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