Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer Wednesday announced his office is suing a Huntington Beach business for allegedly selling fraudulent COVID-19 tests and disinfectant products.
The lawsuit accuses Wellness Matrix Group director of business affairs and co-owner George Todt and CEO Barry Migliorini of the offenses.
“It’s inexcusable to try to profit from this pandemic at the expense of people’s health,” Feuer said. “We allege these defendants have been doing just that, engaging in a pattern of misrepresentation to boost their sales that includes fabricating a study to help pitch one of their products, claiming to have government approvals they’ve never had and more.”
Feuer said he sent a substantiation letter to WMGR in late March over claims made about its alleged fake at-home tests. The lawsuit seeks to stop the alleged unlawful practices and obtain full restitution for consumers and civil penalties, the city attorney said.
Todt denied the allegations in an email to City News Service.
“It was my intentions to provide an enlightened solution for a time when some are seeing the glass half empty,” Todt said. “Let’s all jump in and be humanitarian. We have scientific, tested solutions for testing, tracking and tracing.”
WMGR has allegedly sold products under the names CoronaStop28, CoronaStopper, CoronaStoppers, StopCorona28 and others related to COVID-19 serology tests.
Feuer said the company also sold COVID-19 disinfectant products, from two-ounce bottles for personal use to 55-gallon drums intended for large-scale disinfection.
Todt and Migliorini allegedly made and advertised a number of false claims designed to communicate that they were approved and endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and leading scientific experts, which Feuer said they have not.
The two allegedly attached false government registration numbers to their products and fabricated phony scientific studies and white papers to substantiate their claims.
Medical diagnostic tests cannot be sold in California or anywhere else in the nation unless they have FDA approval, Feuer said.
In the last month, Wellness Matrix Group, Todt and Migliorini have been the subject of extensive investigative reporting and inquiries from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Feuer said.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also temporarily suspended trading of WMGR stock.
The lawsuit seeks to stop the alleged unlawful practices, obtain full restitution for consumers who were duped and civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation.