HAShen he devised his spectacular scam, he was only 17 years old. On Monday May 30, a young man, now 19, appeared in court in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, for having been the author of a massive scam taking advantage of the health crisis in 2021. For several months, starting in March 2021, the German billed thousands for fictitious Covid tests. As they say The Latest News from Alsace, the teenager registered a totally fictitious test center on the platform of the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung (KV), an association of doctors sworn by health insurance in Germany. This organization was responsible in particular for reimbursing the costs of the centers which carried out “citizen tests”, carried out, for example, on contact cases. These reimbursements were made on the simple presentation of invoices by the organizations at the initiative of these test centers.
The teenager therefore had the idea of opening a non-existent center and flooding the KV with false invoices to benefit from these reimbursements. By way of address for this fictitious center, that of the bar in which he had the idea for this scam. Via a billing form completed online, without having to provide proof, the young man thus claims to have carried out 492,000 tests in his establishment, or 5,000 tests per day between March and June 2021. Without questioning the improbable rate of this test center, the KV thus pays 5.7 million euros into the young man’s bank account.
1,500 euros fine and one year suspended sentence
Failing to attract the vigilance of the health authorities, the case has of course sown doubt among an employee of the bank of this young student whose income has exploded. Suspecting a money laundering operation, the employee quickly alerted the police who quickly noticed the scam. The money was frozen before being returned to the KV.
Before the court, the teenager was able to benefit from a certain leniency, in particular because he was a minor at the beginning of the facts. He was finally sentenced to a fine of 1,500 euros and a “juvenile sentence”, which consists of a period of one year after which he will not be sanctioned if he does not commit any offence. The test center system set up by Germany has also inspired more than one crook: the managers of 70 centers are being prosecuted for having carried out more than a million fictitious tests in North Rhine-Westphalia and surveys are under way in other Länder.