Quantcast

Founders of Fecal Testing Company Indicted

(Associated Press) Two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who founded a biotech company that tested fecal matter are accused of bilking their investors and health insurance providers, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Zachary Schulz Apte and Jessica Sunshine Richman, co-founders of now-bankrupt microbiome testing company uBiome, were indicted Thursday on multiple federal charges, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering.

Their court appearances have not been scheduled, and it was not immediately clear if they had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.

Apte, 36, and Richman, 46, founded uBiome in 2012 as a direct-to-consumer service called “Gut Explorer.”

Customers would submit a fecal sample that the company analyzed in a laboratory, comparing the consumer’s microbiome to others’ microbiomes, prosecutors said. The service cost less than $100 initially.

The company grew to include “clinical” tests of gut and vaginal microbiomes, which were aimed to be used by medical providers so uBiome could seek up to $3,000 in reimbursements from health insurance companies.

The federal indictment states that uBiome sought upwards of $300 million in reimbursement claims from private and public health insurers between 2015 and 2019. The company was ultimately paid more than $35 million for tests that “were not validated and not medically necessary.”

The defendants are also accused of falsifying documents, lying and concealing facts about their billing model when asked by insurance providers, as well as misleading and defrauding their investors.

TRENDING NOW

Utah Gov. Claims It’s NOT Racist to Exclude Whites from Jazz-Funded Scholarships

(The Post Millennial) Governor Spencer Cox took a call during a the "Let Me Speak to the Governor" question period on a local...

US Lifts Vietnam, Switzerland from Currency Manipulator List

(Associated Press) Vietnam and Switzerland have been removed from the list of nations labeled by the U.S. as currency manipulators, reversing a...

Police Identify Gunman in FedEx Shooting

(Associated Press) The former employee who shot and killed eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis was interviewed by FBI agents...

Big Pharma CEO: ‘Annual Revaccination’ Likely Needed for COVID Strains

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) People will likely need a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine within one year, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a...

Will You Need a COVID-19 Vaccine Passport?

(Associated Press) What is a COVID-19 vaccine passport, and will I need one? "Vaccine passports," or vaccine certificates, are...