CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced Thursday night that Center for Covid Control COVID-19 testing sites will not be reopening for the foreseeable future.
Raoul's office has launched an investigation into the Rolling Meadows-based company, which has been accused of fraudulent and deceptive conduct – with some complaining that they never received the results of their tests, among other allegations.
"I opened an investigation into the Center for Covid Control in response to our residents contacting my office to report a number of concerning issues at the Center for Covid Control's pop-up COVID-19 testing locations throughout Illinois," Raoul said in part in a statement. "Complaints have ranged from testing results being delayed or not received at all, to results being provided to individuals who were never administered a test, to tests being stored improperly, and staff incorrectly using PPE and face masks."
The Center for Covid Control is also accused billing the government for $113 million for tests provided to uninsured patients across the country, and many who actually had insurance.
The CBS 2 Investigators first showed how an employee at one pop-up COVID testing center raised concerns about what was going on inside a Hyde Park clinic. He claimed it was filthy and unsafe, with biohazard waste going into an open trash can.
The Center for Covid Control temporarily shut down all its sites earlier this month, but the state Attorney General's office is taking further action.
"Although the company voluntarily suspended operations, my office contacted company officials to demand that the Center for Covid Control immediately stop engaging in any fraudulent or deceptive conduct, particularly with respect to the delivery of testing results or billing. In addition to evaluating residents' complaints, attorneys from my Consumer Fraud Division interviewed former employees of the Center for Covid Control," Raoul said in the statement. "This evening, I am pleased to announce that the company's representatives have agreed the Center for COVID Control will postpone the reopening of any pop-up testing locations in Illinois for the foreseeable future."
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has filed a lawsuit against the Center for Covid Control, claiming the testing company's "advertisements and representations are deceptive and misleading."
The Minnesota lawsuit further claims that that "employees were instructed to falsely tell consumers that the test result had been inconclusive and that they needed to take another test."
It is a clear indication of fraud, according to Ellison.
"They trusted that they would get correct results on time. They didn't get that," he said. "We're holding these companies accountable that sent back false or inaccurate results when they sent them back at all."
On Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker noted that he previously issued a warning about "fly-by-night testing operations, and said, "If we can close them down, we will."
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