A 20-year-old German male built a fake Covid-19 testing center and obtained approximately €6 million in health insurance companies’ reimbursements.
The man was convicted of fraud by a district court. It is by no means the only instance of test center billing fraud, according to Die Welt.
The individual recognized that establishing Covid testing centers was a lucrative opportunity, since the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärtzliche Vereinigung) reimburses organizations for conducting tests.
He resolved to establish a phony test facility in Freiburg im Breisgau, close to the French border.
His ‘test center’ never actually conducted any tests, yet his invoices were nevertheless authorized by a German health insurance firm. Subsequently, he would forward them on to the organization. The test center’s expenses would then be reimbursed by the doctors association.
The guy invoiced nearly 500,000 tests and received €5.7 million from the association in only four months.
However, his enormous bank balance was not overlooked by a bank employee who notified the authorities. The bank account was frozen and the money was donated to the doctors’ association that had been hired by health insurance providers after the investigation.
The young man was sentenced to a year of probation on Monday, after which the court will decide whether or not to impose a penalty. He also has to pay a fine of €1,500 to a charity association.
‘A wild party concept’
According to regional news media SWR, the defendant stated in court that the ‘fake Covid test centre’ was a ridiculous notion he came up with while partying. The 20-year-old allegedly stated, “He just wanted to demonstrate how simple it is to deceive the insurance association.”
He submitted his personal data to the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians’ online registration form, providing a mailing address in Freiburg’s main party street. He estimated the cost of 491,000 Covid tests from March to June.
According to the SWR report, the fact that the defendant could so easily defraud insurance companies of such a large amount had a mitigating effect on the sentence.
The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians accepted the data given by the man, which was a very large amount in relation to corona billing fraud, according to the public prosecutor’s office.