When corona test centers suddenly opened all over the city, Mohamad A. also started. “I simply submitted an application, submitted a hygiene concept and a sketch of the shop and got a commitment,” said the 28-year-old on Tuesday in front of the Tiergarten District Court. Business went smoothly at first – “so many people, we couldn’t keep up”.
However, the public prosecutor assumes that A. wrongly charged around 50,000 euros for tests that were not carried out or not carried out correctly. He now denied this and handed the judge printed lists that would prove correct accounting.
The charges are commercial fraud and attempted commercial fraud. From June 2021, A. operated a corona test center in Charlottenburg. For June, July and August he is said to have given false information to the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians. He had billed tests and test kits used for them that had not been carried out or not to the same extent.
For June last year, he billed for 4,363 tests and a corresponding number of test kits – “however, in the billing month, only 1,556 tests were performed in the test center he operated,” says the indictment.
Almost 50,000 euros were wrongly paid – the money was transferred to his father’s account. In the second case, according to the indictment, it was an attempt. A. is said to have claimed a total of around 12,000 tests for July and August, although there were around 2,100.
Mohamad A. heard it shaking his head. Everything went correctly. The employees – four to five, including father and brother – had been properly trained.
Because they had so much to do and it was sometimes hectic, they worked on several computers. There were parallel lists. He worked up to 18 hours a day and didn’t always manage to merge the data afterwards. He has now made up for it.
In the course of the free citizen tests, hundreds of privately organized test stations were set up in Berlin in a short time. The registration of the test sites was quite uncomplicated via an online procedure of the Senate. There are now almost 400 procedures in Berlin in connection with allegedly falsified statements in corona test centers.
Almost three months ago, the police in Berlin caught a suspected gang of fraudsters. The group is said to have swindled around nine million euros with false test numbers in 18 test stations throughout the city.
Mohamad A. remained the operator of a test center until the end of May this year. Then it was enough for him, he now said. The public prosecutor and the judge now want to deal with the submitted documents by July 12.