Chicago COVID test site run by LabElite on Far Northwest Side raided by FBI

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, February 24, 2022
FBI raids Far NW Side COVID testing center
The Chicago COVID testing site run by LabElite in the 5800-block of Northwest Highway was raided by the FBI and other federal agents Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The FBI has raided another Chicago COVID testing site, this time on the city's Far Northwest Side.

Federal agents raided LabElite, a COVID testing center in the 5800-block of Northwest Highway. A spokesperson for the agency released a statement saying, "The FBI is conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in that vicinity today. There is no further information at this time."

Dozens of agents, including from the FBI, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Illinois Attorney General's Office, swarmed the Norwood Park headquarters of LabElite, search warrant in hand.

"I looked out my window and I just see a procession of cars, and I see FBI," said Mel Connolly, resident. "And I'm like, what is going on here?"

Authorities have not said why they conducted a raid. A spokesperson for LabElite said the company has been working to resolve complaints about delayed test results from the December Omicron surge.

RELATED: 2 more Chicago-based COVID-19 test companies investigated by IDPH, IL AG

LabElite operates and partners with several COVID testing sites, and has received millions of dollars from the federal government for COVID-19 testing.

The spokesperson said the company has cut ties with some pop-up operators, and blamed some of the delayed results on shipping problems with FedEx, and added, "We acknowledge that in December some test results did not come back in a timely version, but that is far from our strict operating rules."

"The Department of Justice and other enforcement agencies, including with the state, are targeting COVID fraud. That's clearly what they're doing here. We don't know what will come of it, but it's part of a nationwide effort to really crack down on misconduct involving COVID," said Gil Soffer, ABC7 legal analyst.

Earlier this year, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced it is investigating Northshore Clinical Labs, which is not associated with NorthShore University HealthSystem, and O'Hare Clinical Lab, which has no connection to the airport, over complaints their patients did not get timely results or any results at all from their COVID tests.

RELATED: Center for COVID Control facing lawsuit from Minnesota AG alleging widespread COVID testing scheme

And the Minnesota attorney general announced a lawsuit against Rolling Meadows-based Center for COVID Control alleging false, deceptive and fraudulent conduct in COVID testing clinics at hundreds of locations in metro Chicago and the Midwest.

Illinois Attorney General statement on LabElite raid

Attorney General Raoul is absolutely committed to protecting residents from those who attempt to profit off of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. We are in regular contact with Illinois residents who reach out to our office with complaints related to COVID testing locations around the state. As a result, today investigators from the Attorney General's office and other law enforcement partners are taking action. We will not comment on active investigations as we work to hold accountable individuals who engage in unlawful conduct.