Backlash For Company Who Sold At-Home Coronavirus Testing Kits
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an independent government agency established to protect investors, maintain market fairness, and promote capital development.
In early April, is issued a momentary pause of share trading for Wellness Matrix Group. It will enforce the suspension until April 22.
Bloomberg notes that Wellness Matrix Group operates as a holding company. Through subsidiaries, it creates and produces virtual reality and AI technology and application tools for the health and wellness industry.
The SEC is enacting the ban on trading for Wellness Matric Group after statements “made through affiliated websites and a company consultant about selling at-home COVID-19 testing kits that had been approved by the FDA.”
NPR was the first to report on the findings. Last week, it found that the company was selling “at-home” test kits for the coronavirus, going so far as to claim that the FDA approved these kits.
Wellness Matrix Group’s vice president of marketing, David Saltrelli, assets that the FDA approved the kits.
But the FDA emphatically denies this, saying, “The FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19.”
Several consumers ordered the kits out of fear of developing the virus or potentially transmitting it to high-risk family members.
However, the tests were never received, which prompted buyers to assume that the kits were fraudulent. NPR confirmed that the company sold over $1,000 in test kits.
Wellness Matrix Group has declared that its only purpose was to market the tests for use by medical care workers.
It has promised to return buyers’ money, and some consumers have verified that the company issued a refund.
The SEC announced the temporary hold on share trades after Representatives Katie Porter from California and Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois reviewed the company, and a cease-and-desist notice was issued.
Michael Selsman is the company’s investor relations contact. After NPR reached out for a statement, he declined to comment on the SEC’s decision.
According to NPR, George Todt, who works with Wellness Matrix Group in “business development,” stated in an email that the ongoing investigations were “based on [NPR’s] misinformation and misleading inquiries.” However, he did not offer any evidence to support his statement.
Todt also maintained that the company’s revenue had seen an uptick, although there is no proof to confirm that claim. Todt’s lawyer did not respond to NPR’s requests for a statement.
The SEC issued a statement declaring the suspension, requesting that “any broker, dealer or other person has any information that may relate to this matter” reach out to the agency.
It is not uncommon for unscrupulous actors to prey on peoples’ fears during times like this one.
It highlights the need for careful oversight during events like the coronavirus pandemic.
By selling fraudulent testing kits, Wellness Matrix Group risked endangering the lives of many people and causing COVID-19 to spread even further.
Authorities must continue to release accurate and factual information to prevent unsuspecting victims from being scammed by fraudulent products like at-home testing kits.
- Dreisbach, Tom. “SEC Suspends Trading Of Company That Sold ‘At-Home’ COVID-19 Tests.” NPR, NPR, 9 Apr. 2020, www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/08/830312298/sec-suspends-trading-of-company-that-sold-at-home-covid-19-tests.