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Already closed in St. Louis, COVID testing company raided by FBI

FBI investigators entered Center for COVID Control's Chicago-area headquarters this weekend after widespread testing issues.

ST. LOUIS — When COVID test-takers lined up for their swab on Jan. 5 in downtown St. Louis, they were at one of the newest clinics to pop up in our area. But the site run by Doctor's Clinical Lab and Center for COVID Control has come under scrutiny, culminating in an FBI raid this weekend.

"If you did come to this company, you could see that other consumers were saying that they did get tested, they didn't have results, or the timing did not coincide with what the results were saying," St. Louis Better Business Bureau Director of Communications Sarah Wetzel said.

Wetzel said the St. Louis BBB website had an F Rating for the testing company before investigators got involved.

Attorneys general in Colorado, Illinois, and Oregon have launched investigations into the Center for COVID Control, and last week the Minnesota AG sued the company.

The Center for COVID Control had thousands of locations in the US, including sites in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Wetzel said both the high demand and relative newness of the coronavirus testing industry make it a target for abuse.

"This is so rare, and this is a circumstance that nobody can really, unfortunately, prepare themselves for it because it is so new," she said, adding "unfortunately, scammers thrive in chaos."

Wetzel says the St. Louis BBB's web traffic increased 6% last year, from 14.5 million hits in 2020 to 15.5 million in 2021.

Local consumers reported 1,000 potential scams to BBB Scam Tracker last year.

A sign on the Center for COVID Control's north county location said they would re-open on Jan. 21, but their website says all locations are closed indefinitely.