2 Jacksonville women accused of scamming Medicare out of nearly $4M by sending unwanted COVID-19 tests

Courtney Lewis and Latania Smith-Washington have been accused by the US Attorney’s Office of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Investigators said they used a scam that resulted in Medicare paying the pair nearly $4 million in COVID-19 test reimbursements.

Lewis and Smith-Washington formed their company, SWL Services LLC, in July 2021. They then enrolled the company as a Medicare provider.

Starting in April 2022, Medicare began covering over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 tests for those enrolled in the program.

From Feb. 2023 to June 2023, using a list of Medicare users, Lewis and Smith-Washington began sending more than 64,000 unrequested COVID-19 tests, according to prosecutors.

They would sometimes send as many as eight tests per person and then use a billing company to ask Medicare for reimbursements, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

While those receiving the unwanted COVID-19 did not have to pay for them directly, the tests paid for in their names would tally for millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, according to investigators.

No court date has been announced but Lewis and Smith-Washington have waived indictment and agreed to be charged by information.

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