SAN JOSE — A Silicon Valley govt who lied to buyers about inventing expertise that examined for allergy symptoms and COVID-19 utilizing just a few drops of blood was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in jail and ordered to pay $24 million in restitution, federal prosecutors stated.
Mark Schena, 60, was convicted final yr of paying bribes to docs and defrauding the federal government after his firm billed Medicare $77 million for fraudulent COVID-19 and allergy checks, the U.S. Division of Justice stated in a press release.
Schena claimed his Sunnyvale-based firm, Arrayit Company, had the one laboratory on this planet that supplied “revolutionary microarray expertise” that allowed it to check for allergy symptoms and COVID-19 with the identical finger-stick take a look at package, prosecutors stated.
In conferences with buyers, Schena claimed he was on the shortlist for the Nobel Prize and falsely represented that Arrayit may very well be valued at $4.5 billion, prosecutors stated.
Earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, from 2018 by means of February 2020, Schena and different workers paid bribes to recruiters and docs to run an allergy screening take a look at for 120 allergens starting from stinging bugs to meals allergens on each affected person whether or not they have been wanted or not, authorities stated.
The case in opposition to Schena shared similarities with a extra outstanding authorized saga surrounding former Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford College in 2003 to discovered an organization referred to as Theranos that she pledged would revolutionize well being care with a expertise that would scan for a whole bunch of ailments and different points with only a few drops of blood, too.
Holmes was convicted on 4 felony counts of investor fraud following an almost four-month trial in the identical San Jose, California, courtroom the place Schena’s trial was held. In Might, Holmes entered a Texas jail the place she might spend the subsequent 11 years.