FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2022
Contact: Caleb Kulich, Public Information Officer, (608) 621-1290,
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
(DATCP) has reached a stipulated consent judgment in Dane County with Aleya Siyaj and
Akbar Syed, doing business as Center for COVID Control, LLC, to address concerns with the
company’s misleading advertising related to COVID-19 testing.
During an approximately 14-month period from December 2, 2020 until January 21, 2022, the
Center for COVID Control, LLC provided advertising, marketing, website optimization, a
consumer call center, transportation, and other support services to Doctors Clinical Laboratory,
Inc. This included establishing twenty-five collection sites in Wisconsin, six of which were in
Dane County, where individuals could provide biological samples for COVID-19 testing.
With the intent of increasing utilization of the testing services available at the Wisconsin
collection sites, Center for COVID Control, LLC advertised and promoted those testing
services and collection sites to the public via website advertising enhanced with Google Search
Engine Optimization, social media posts, and physical signage. The online advertisements
stated that individuals who provided a biological sample for a free “gold standard” reverse
transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 test would have their test results
emailed to them within 48 hours. Contrary to these representations, individuals who utilized
RT-PCR testing at their Wisconsin collection sites did not receive their test results within this
“Misleading advertisements are a common problem,” said Lara Sutherlin, Administrator of
DATCP’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. “It’s unfair to consumers when
businesses make promises they are unable to follow through on, but even more so when that
business involves public health. It’s likely that many individuals who received tests from
Center for COVID Control were attracted by its commitment to results within 48 hours.
Dropping the ball on a service as vital as COVID-19 tests is unacceptable to consumers.”
The stipulated consent judgment states that Aleya Siyaj and Akbar Syed are jointly and
individually responsible for paying civil forfeitures totaling $11,250, as well as $11,250 in
statutory surcharges, statutory fees, and partial reimbursement of the DATCP’s investigative
costs, for a total of $22,500 made payable to the Dane County Clerk of Courts.
For more information and consumer protection resources or to file a complaint, visit DATCP’s
Consumer Protection webpage at ConsumerProtection.wi.gov. If you have questions or believe
you are victim to a scam, report it by contacting DATCP's Consumer Protection Hotline by
phone at (800) 422-7128 or email at DATCPHotline@wi.gov.
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