Woman Pleads Guilty to $359 Million Fraud
Lourdes Navarro pleaded guilty to fraudulently submitting claims during the COVID-19 pandemic for expensive and medically unnecessary respiratory pathogen panel (RPP) tests. According to court documents, Navarro conspired with Imran Shams to obtain nasal swab specimens from residents and staff at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation facilities, and students and staff at primary and secondary schools for the purported purpose of conducting screening tests to identify and isolate individuals infected with COVID-19. Obtaining those samples enabled Matias Clinical Laboratory, doing business as Health Care Providers Laboratory, to perform RPP tests on some of the specimens, even though only COVID-19 testing had been ordered and there was no medical justification for conducting RPP tests. Read a story from the Los Angeles Times and a Department of Justice press release.