The founders of the microbiome testing firm uBiome have been charged with healthcare and securities fraud, the Wall Street Journal reports.
In 2019, as part of an inquiry into its billing practices, US Federal Bureau of Investigation searched the company's San Francisco office. This led Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, who co-founded the firm in 2012, to be placed on administrative leave before later leaving the company. The company additionally suspended its clinical operations, then filed for bankruptcy in September 2019.
According to the Journal, Richman and Apte have now been indicted on charges stemming from allegations that they filed fraudulent reimbursement claims with insurers. The US Department of Justice says that the charges include conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, money laundering, and more.
As GenomeWeb reports, the Securities and Exchange Commission also alleges Richman and Apte defrauded investors. The SEC alleges they falsely portrayed uBiome as a successful startup to investors, defrauding them of $60 million.