California startup hit with fraud indictments

White-collar crimes in California are generally non-violent and often involve professional people committing illegal activity for financial gain. These crimes can be either misdemeanors or felonies and can involve as little as a few hundreds of dollars to millions. California lawmakers are serious about the punishments they deliver to white-collar criminals in the state. This fact is something one pair of entrepreneurs is learning the hard way.

Case background

uBiome first opened its doors in 2012 and delivered microbiome analysis straight to customers. The husband and wife team that founded the company face accusations that they frauded investors and insurance providers out of tens of millions of dollars.

Indictments filed against uBiome allege the company received $35 million from 2015 to 2019 for tests that were both unnecessary and not validated. The company reached its height during this time with a value of $600 million.

The couple married in 2019, but things deteriorated quickly for uBiome. Federal agents raided offices located in San Francisco as part of the investigation of a white-collar crime. The company filed for bankruptcy in September 2019 and began liquidating its assets a month later. Prosecutors accuse the company of lying to its investors regarding the validity of tests the company administered. Prosecutors say the couple also mislead investors regarding the growth and financial health of the company.

The fallout

The list of charges lodged against the couple includes conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and money laundering. The couple also faces several charges related to defrauding insurance companies and health care providers. Potential penalties for the couple include 90 years in prison.

People who have been accused of white-collar crimes will need to mount a strong defense against these charges to protect their liberty, business interests, and good name. A criminal law attorney may represent the best option for those who find themselves in this position.