Accessibility links

Breaking News

SEC Charges Companies With COVID-19-Related Fraud

In this image provided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, March 24, 2020, shows unapproved COVID-19 tests that were seized from the DHL Express Consignment Facility at JFK Airport in the Queens borough of New York.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it has filed complaints against two companies and one chief executive officer (CEO), alleging they released misleading claims regarding the coronavirus.

The SEC had previously halted securities trading on both companies, Reuters reported.

According to the SEC statement, Applied BioSciences claimed the company mass produced in-home finger-prick COVID-19 tests. The SEC complaint argues that the tests were not fit for private use and needed to be conducted in the presence of a medical professional.

The SEC also filed separate charges against Turbo Global Partners Inc. and its CEO, Robert W. Singerman, for allegedly claiming to have a public-private partnership dedicated to developing technology to detect fevers. According to the press release, no partnership exists.

A separate complaint against Singerman was filed due to his personal oversight of the fraudulent claims, the SEC said.

Singerman was previously charged with fraud in 1999 for the fraudulent sale of securities, according to the SEC statement.

“These fraud actions demonstrate the SEC’s vigilance over public companies that make materially misleading claims in press releases,” said Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement.