Silicon Valley Executive Fined $24 Million for Fraudulent COVID-19 Tests

Mark Schena engaged in elaborate ruses to convince investors of claims.

A coordinated effort headed by the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute COVID-19-related frauds recently concluded its first major case. The CEO of Silicon Valley-based medical company, Arrayit, was sentenced to eight years of prison and ordered to pay $24 million in restitution to his victims.

Mark Schena worked to make a name for himself a few years before the pandemic, deceiving investors about a universal disease testing device he supposedly invented and securing business loans by claiming his company Arrayit could be valued at $4.5 billion. Once the pandemic broke out, he pitched the creation of a COVID-19 test to his investors, who gave him at least $70 million to develop it. When investors began to realize the tests were bogus, Schena released staged videos of busy labs and conducted press interviews to convince them that the tests were real and that he was not close to bankruptcy.

“Every time there’s a disaster of some type, scammers climb out of the woodwork with schemes to bilk people out of their money,” said Postal Inspector in Charge of Criminal Investigations Eric Shen of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). “In this case, Mark Schena and the Arrayit Corporation were already involved in deceiving the public before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Justice Department officials as they pursue those who scammed and defrauded the government and consumers during the pandemic.
  • For Postal Inspector Shen as he oversees the Criminal Investigations Group at the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Sources: Department of Justice


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