A New York swindler sold stolen COVID-19 test kits for up to $200 — and then never sent results to duped customers, federal prosecutors said.
Henry Sylvain Gindt II, 34, of Queens, founded YouHealth, Inc. — a website offering telemedicine and DNA testing — in March and falsely claimed that he was connected to labs that handle coronavirus test kits, the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania announced Thursday.
Gindt, who allegedly stole the test kits from a lab employee, then advertised his testing services on two websites for from $135 to $200, and in unsolicited emails to people in several states, prosecutors said.
As part of his pitch, Gindt lied about his purported affiliation with a certified state lab able to test customers’ samples and provide them accurate coronavirus test results, according to a criminal complaint. He also sold the kits, which included nasal swabs, to consumers without any prior medical screening.
Instead, after customers ordered the kits, Gindt overnighted them via FedEx with a request to complete a medical questionnaire as part of the screening process.
The customers, including one western Pennsylvania resident who tipped off authorities, never got any results, federal prosecutors said.
“Let this be a message to anyone who wants to scam our fellow citizens during this pandemic: the Department of Justice will take swift action to disrupt your scheme and then we will arrest you,” US Attorney Scott Brady said.
“Gindt tried to profit from the pandemic by selling stolen test kits and services without ever delivering the promised results.”
Prosecutors said the US Secret Service and federal authorities in Pittsburgh shut down Gindt’s YouHealth.shop and YouHealth.me on April 15, but both sites were still accessible Friday.
“If showing signs of Coronavirus (fever, dry cough, muscle soreness), call your personal doctor or book a doctor,” a banner on YouHealth.shop read.
Gindt, who has been charged with committing mail fraud and wire fraud, and conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
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