The SEC announced charges against California-based biotechnology company Decision Diagnostics Corp. and its CEO, Keith Berman, with making false and misleading claims in numerous press releases that the company had
laims in numerous press releases that the company had developed a working, break-through technology that could accurately detect Covid-19 through a quick blood test. The SEC temporarily suspended trading in Decision Diagnostics’ securities on April 23, 2020.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Decision Diagnostics and Berman seized upon the global pandemic through a series of press releases that falsely claimed Decision Diagnostics had developed a finger prick blood test that could detect Covid-19 in less than a minute.
According to the complaint, from March 2020 to at least June 2020, Decision Diagnostics and Berman made false and misleading statements about the existence of Decision Diagnostics’ Covid-19 device and progress towards FDA emergency use authorization. As alleged, at the time of these claims, Decision Diagnostics lacked a proven method for detecting the virus and had no physical testing device. Further, its advisors had warned that the testing kit they were trying to manufacture would not work as Decision Diagnostics had described. The complaint also alleges that the statements created the misleading impression that the test was soon to be introduced to the market and led to surges in the price and trading volume of Decision Diagnostics’ stock.