SEATTLE - The Center for COVID Control—a coronavirus testing company lambasted by the Attorney General as a ‘scam’—is now permanently barred from doing business in Washington.
AG Bob Ferguson announced Thursday the company owners 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 barred from doing business in Washington, after operating sham COVID testing sites," Ferguson wrote. "The business is reportedly also under investigation by federal authorities and other states."
The company came under scrutiny by the Better Business Bureau in Jan. 2022 after being inundated with negative reviews and complaints, accusing them of scamming customers.
After these complaints, the Center for COVID Control paused operations at its 300 testing locations.
In late January, Ferguson filed a lawsuit against the company, saying they "failed to deliver prompt, valid and accurate results," made deceptive promises of results within 48 hours, and reportedly instructed its employees to "lie to patients on a daily basis."
In Feb. 2022, a King County judge granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the company from operating in the state.
According to the Attorney General’s office, the company billed the federal government $124 million in tests for ‘uninsured’ patients. If patients could not immediately provide their insurance information, they were marked as uninsured; by the end of their operations, they had ‘uninsured’ autofilled on their forms for every patient, even if they were insured.
Ferguson’s lawsuit against the company demands they stop all false test reporting, pay up to $12,500 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Act, pay $5,000 in enhanced penalties for targeting vulnerable populations and relinquish any profits the company made from unlawful conduct.
Despite the high dollars amounts, the suit was settled with the company’s owners ordered to pay $42,000 with a 12% interest rate, according to the consent decree.