New York City Man Arrested on Fraud Charges for Selling Stolen COVID-19 Testing Services through His Website, YouHealth, Inc., without Sending Promised Test Results
PITTSBURGH - A New York resident was arrested and criminally charged for his role in allegedly advertising and selling stolen COVID-19 testing services for $135 to $200, falsely claiming that he was connected to labs that would test the kits, shipping test kits without any prior medical screening, and providing no results to consumers, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today. Additionally, the United States Secret Service, Pittsburgh Field Office Cyber Fraud Task Force, successfully shut down the websites that advertised and sold these stolen test kits. The Department of Justice, under Attorney General William Barr’s recent direction, prioritizes such detection, investigation, disruption and prosecution of illegal conduct related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Henry Sylvain Gindt II, 34, of Queens (New York), New York, has been charged by criminal complaint with committing mail fraud and wire fraud, and conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
"Let this be a message to anyone who wants to scam our fellow citizens during this pandemic: the Department of Justice will take swift action to disrupt your scheme and then we will arrest you," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "This is why we created our Western Pennsylvania COVID-19 Fraud Task Force. Gindt tried to profit from the pandemic by selling stolen test kits and services without ever delivering the promised results. Instead, we shut him down and now he is facing prison time."
"This case demonstrates the investigative capabilities of the United State Secret Service, as well as the members of the Western Pennsylvania COVID-19 Fraud Task Force under the leadership of U.S. Attorney Scott Brady. The suspect in this case took advantage of American citizens for his own personal benefit, preying on customers fear and anxiety," said Tim Burke, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Pittsburgh Field Office. "This case should serve as a strong deterrent for criminal actors considering taking part in related fraud schemes. The Secret Service along with our Western Pennsylvania COVID-19 Fraud Task Force partners will continue to investigate and arrest criminals who attempt to defraud citizens and businesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic."
According to the Criminal Complaint, Gindt II founded YouHealth, Inc., a website offering telemedicine and personalized nutrition, wellness and DNA genetics testing. Gindt II illegally obtained stolen COVID-19 test kits from a laboratory employee. He then advertised those stolen testing kit services for $135 to $200 on his YouHealth websites and in unsolicited emails that he sent to consumers in multiple states. As part of his advertising, Gindt II falsely and fraudulently misrepresented that he was affiliated with a certified lab that would test the samples and provide results. Gindt II sold the test kits to consumers – including in Western Pennsylvania – without any prior medical screening. Instead, once the testing kit services (including the nasal swabs used for collection and packaging to send to the lab) were ordered, Gindt would have them overnighted to consumers with a request to then complete a medical questionnaire to screen for COVID-19 symptoms. Gindt II sent the test kits to consumers via FedEx Overnight using the FedEx account in the name of an entity identified in the complaint as "Lab" and an individual identified as "T. A." Gindt II directed consumers to swab themselves and send their test kits to "Lab" for testing. The consumers never received any test results.
On April 15, 2020, the United States Secret Service, Pittsburgh Field Office Cyber Fraud Task Force, successfully shut down the websites for YouHealth.shop and YouHealth.me relating to this investigation.
This case began following a tip to the Western Pennsylvania COVID-19 Task Force from a western Pennsylvania resident who had received an email from email@example.com advertising the sale of at-home COVID19 testing services.
The public is urged to continue to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 by calling the Western Pennsylvania COVID-19 Fraud Task Force’s Toll Free Hotline: 1-888-C19-WDPA or 1-888-219-9372 or send an email to the Western Pennsylvania COVID-19 Fraud Task Force’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar. The United States Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigations, and all members of the Western Pennsylvania COVID-19 Fraud Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the charges in this case. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia and the Federal Bureau of Investigation participated in the investigation of this case.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant may not be prosecuted unless, within 30 days, a grand jury has found probable cause to believe that he is guilty of an offense.