A Covid-19 test center for cross-border workers in Saarbrücken (Germany), March 2, 2021. – JEAN CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN © 2019 AFP
It was too big to go unnoticed. In Germany, a 17-year-old young man created a fake Covid screening center and fraudulently pocketed nearly six million euros, reports the regional daily The latest news from Alsacewhich quotes the German press, which has largely treated the information across the Rhine.
Although he was not even 18 at the end of the summer of 2020, the forger boasted to his friends that it was very easy to make money on the Covid tests carried out by the case-contact persons.
Indeed, the latter do not have to pay directly to the centers. Organizations carrying out the tests must send an invoice to the Kassenärtzlichen Vereinigung (KV), “an association of doctors approved by the German health insurance services”, explains DNA.
Nearly 500,000 false tests
The KV then reimburses the costs to the centers which practice them on the strength of a simple invoice. So the 17-year-old has an idea: create a fake test center and send fake invoices.
Between March and June 2021, he invoices nearly 500,000 tests which he claims to have “practiced” and receives… 5.7 million euros in his bank account paid by the KV, which did not think to check the improbable rate of this false center (5000 tests per day).
How did the youngster get caught by the authorities? To create his fake center, he had to mention an address, that of a bar where he used to go. But it is by the new figures of his bank account that he betrayed himself.
“The pot of roses was discovered thanks to the vigilance of an employee of the bank where the young man had his account, who was surprised to see the income of this simple student soar,” explains the regional daily.
1500 euro fine
The employee suspected money laundering and contacted the police, before the money was frozen and returned to the Kassenärtzlichen Vereinigung. Judged on Monday, the young man benefited from the indulgence of the Friborg court, only receiving a sentence for a minor: a fine of 1,500 euros which he will have to pay to “a public utility organization.”
The counterfeiter will also have to hold off for a year, after which the court will study his case again and may impose a new sanction.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.