Suspected fraud at corona test centers: 33 procedures in Cologne

A biotechnical assistant prepares PCR tests for analysis. Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa/Symbolbild

Cologne (dpa / lnw) – There are now 33 investigations underway in Cologne alone on suspicion of fraud in connection with billing from corona test centers. At least 45 test sites are involved, said a spokeswoman for the Cologne public prosecutor’s office on Monday when asked by the dpa. 55 suspects are being investigated, and they are usually the operators of the posts. Most of the procedures have been going on for a long time. “The investigations are very extensive and complex,” explained the spokeswoman.

Most of the test centers had actually carried out quick tests – it now had to be examined at great expense how many were correctly billed and how many were presumably reported although no service was provided. There are also numerous proceedings against operators of corona test centers on suspicion of fraud in other cities.

In the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”, the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV) rejected criticism. The KV Westfalen-Lippe, for example, emphasized that the order to check and bill for the corona test is taken very seriously and that they work closely with the investigating authorities.

According to the Cologne public prosecutor’s office, the investigations will drag on. It will also take some time before there are “valid figures for the amount of damage,” said the spokeswoman. Two prosecutors are dealing with the cases.