Ex-Employee Claims COVID-Testing Company Being Investigated for Fraud Deceived Thousands of Customers

Did Akbar Ali Syed and his wife Aleya Siyaj, the founders of the Center for COVID Control, profit off the increasingly demand for COVID-19 tests? The Minnesota and Washington State attorneys general said the couple allegedly deceived thousands.

Did a couple fraudulently cash in on the COVID-19 testing craze?

Akbar Ali Syed and his wife Aleya Siyaj founded the Center for COVID Control in December 2020.

A commercial for the organization noted “The Center for Covid Control already has over 200 testing sites nationwide, making us one of the largest testing organizations in the country.”

Their pop-up testing sites were seemingly everywhere.

In advertisements for the centers, they noted their testing was free, available Monday through Friday and no insurance was necessary.

The company reportedly made over $140 million processing COVID-19 tests.

Last month, after mounting complaints and lawsuits alleging fraud, the company was raided by the FBI.

Now some are questioning if the couple may have used profits from their testing sites to fund a lavish lifestyle, including the million-dollar mansion they own.

On social media, Syed has boasted about owning several luxury cars, including a $3.7 million Ferrari.

But according to lawsuits filed by the Minnesota and Washington State attorneys general, the couple allegedly deceived thousands of customers. Some customers have said they never received results for their COVID-19 tests, and some say they got negative results via email before they had even taken the tests.

So what went on inside their headquarters?

“We were told to tell customers whatever to make them happy, included telling them their results were invalid even though they'd never been tested in the lab,” said Tina Morales, who told Inside Edition she worked as a shift supervisor for the company for several months before she quit.

Videos provided to Inside Edition by another former employee show piles of garbage bags. Morales said those bags were full of tests that hadn’t been processed.

“You're giving somebody results that you don't even know were processed, that weren't processed by the lab,” Morales said of the alleged operation. “That's not right, that's taking advantage of the situation.”

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing the company for fraud.

“Their actions were not just illegal, but they were immoral,” he said. “If a company is willing to falsify records, lie to you, not store your COVID sample accurately—they are playing with your life."

Syed and Siyaj were driving a $130,000 Mercedes G-Wagon when Inside Edition caught up to the couple.

“Look, all you need to know is that you're very soon going to find out that we're not fraudsters, we didn't do any sort of fraud, or any scam, OK,” Syed told Lisa Guerrero, Inside Edition’s chief investigative correspondent.

“Some people are just concerned about the lifestyle that you're living, can you talk about the lavish lifestyle,” Guerrero asked.

“I can’t comment on anything,” Syed responded before driving off.

Syed and his wife have not been arrested or charged with any crime. In a previously issued statement, they said that due to their rapid growth and the unprecedented demand for testing, they weren’t able to meet all their commitments.

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