Marc Schessel COVID Test Kit Fraud Case

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Marc Schessel COVID Test Kit Fraud Case

A former healthcare software executive was found guilty of securities fraud Wednesday by a New Jersey federal jury in the retrial of a case that ended in a hung jury in December.

Marc Schessel COVID Test Kit Fraud Case : Retrial Ends in Conviction

Marc Schessel, the onetime leader of SCWorx Corp., was accused of duping investors when he issued press releases and made public statements in April 2020 about a $670 million COVID-19 test kit deal that ultimately collapsed. This was Schessel’s second trial in the case after a guilty verdict by the first jury was dramatically upended when U.S. District Judge Esther Salas asked each juror if they agreed, and one of the jurors emphatically said “no.”

After the guilty verdict on two counts was delivered Wednesday, Judge Salas polled the jurors, and all concurred. Sentencing was set for Dec. 17.

Prosecutor’s Statement

“This defendant took advantage of the global COVID pandemic by illegally pumping up the value of SCWorx’s stock by over 400 percent with multiple fraudulent public statements that he had a binding contract to obtain COVID-19 test kits, when in reality the test kits had never been approved by the FDA and he never had a binding contract to purchase them,” U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Philip R. Sellinger said in a news release Wednesday. “When the truth came out, the value of the SCWorx stock crashed, causing investors to suffer substantial losses. Duping investors out of millions of dollars in the middle of a serious health emergency to salvage a failing business is especially egregious.”

Marc Schessel COVID Test Kit Fraud Case : Indictment Details

Schessel was charged in May 2022 with two counts of securities fraud in what the government said was a stock manipulation scheme leading to investor losses of at least $116 million. The indictment against Schessel accused him of falsely declaring in April 2020 that SCWorx, whose shares are traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange, had a multimillion-dollar deal to buy and resell at least 48 million COVID-19 test kits at 2 million per week. According to the DOJ, Schessel made the announcement even though he knew the deal was in doubt.