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Biotech Executive Jailed 7 years for COVID Fraud

The Justice Department said that from February through December 2020, Berman falsely claimed his Decision Diagnostics company had developed a 15-second test to detect COVID-19 in a finger prick sample of blood when, in reality, no such test existed.

The chief executive of a U.S. biotechnology company that falsely promised investors it could produce a quick and accurate COVID-19 test was sentenced to seven years in jail on Friday, April 12, 2024, the Justice Department said.

Keith Berman, 70, of Westlake Village, California, pleaded guilty last December to securities fraud totalling around $28 million, according to Reuters.

The Justice Department said that from February through December 2020, Berman falsely claimed his Decision Diagnostics company had developed a 15-second test to detect COVID-19 in a finger prick sample of blood when, in reality, no such test existed.

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“Berman defrauded investors to profit from the pandemic,” Nicole Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a statement.

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued the company and Berman in December 2020.

SourceReuters

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