17-Year-Old Creates Fake COVID Test Center, Receives $6 Millions in State Payouts

A young German has recently been found guilty of creating a fake COVID screening center and illegally pocketing 5.7 million euros ($6 million) in state payouts for tests that were never performed.

At the height of the Coronavirus pandemic in Germany, the demand for tests was so great that the state reimbursed centers for conducting COVID tests based solely on an invoice. Most private healthcare providers benefited greatly, but some managed to rake in small fortunes without actually providing any kind of service. Such was the case of a young German student who figured out that all he had to do was create a COVID test center on paper, and then invoice thousands of tests every day to collect sizeable payouts from the Government. The young man, who was only 17-year-old when he came up with the idea in 2020, managed to pocket a whopping $6 million without actually doing any work.

Photo: Mufid Majnun/Unsplash

According to the public prosecutor’s office, Germany’s Kassenärtzlichen Vereinigung (KV) had trusted the information provided by a 17-year-old boy from Freiburg, who claimed to operate a COVID test center. Between March and June of 2021, the young man, whose name has not been revealed, billed up to 5,000 tests per day, although his testing center didn’t even exist.

In 2020 and 2021, to speed up testing, the German Government entrusted the Kassenärtzlichen Vereinigung, an association of doctors approved by the German health insurance services, with overseeing COVID testing and handling payments to private test centers. Unfortunately, the lack of oversight made the system an easy target for quick-thinking fraudsters.

Photo: Mick Haupt/Unsplash

In the span of fewer than four months, the young scammer billed around 500,000 COVID tests, and despite the improbable daily rate of testing, never got so much as a question from the KV. Instead, he received timely payment amounting to a whopping 5.7 million euros in his bank account.

If not for a meddling bank employee, our young fraudster would have probably raked in even more money from the Government, However, in June of 2021, someone noticed that the account of a simple student had ballooned to over $6 million and suspected some form of money laundering. They contacted the police and a quick investigation revealed that his fortune had been acquired through illegal means, so it was promptly confiscated.


Now 19-years-old, the perpetrator was recently convicted for his crime. Luckily, because he had not yet turned 18 when he set his scheme in motion, he was trialed as a minor, so he only had his fortune confiscated and ordered to pay a fine of 1,500 euros ($1,600) to a “public utility organization). He will also be on probation for one year, after which will study his case again and may impose new sanctions.

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