A Salt Lake woman faces a federal felony charge accusing her of knowingly selling counterfeit COVID-19 tests to travelers through the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Linda Tufui Toli was charged last week via felony information in Utah's U.S. District Court with one count of wire fraud.
Between February and September of 2021, prosecutors say Toli worked at a company called XpresCheck, which offered testing for COVID-19 inside airports. XpresCheck specifically offered testing inside the Salt Lake airport for people traveling to places like Hawaii or other destinations that required testing for coronavirus prior to boarding.
Prosecutors say the scheme started in July 2021 and lasted through September. Toli is accused of intercepting calls from people wanting to schedule COVID-19 tests to travel, and canceling their appointments through XpresCheck in order to sell counterfeit negative tests. The charging documents allege that Toli was aware the tests were fake.
Toli would then arrange for the travelers to send money to her personal bank account through apps like Cash App and Venmo, generally charging between $200 and $250, according to the charges.
She is accused of using an email account that contained her middle name to obtain the necessary information to create the phony test results and send the document back to travelers. The email account was also used to instruct travelers on how to upload the fake test results to websites so they would be cleared for travel, the charges allege.
The wire fraud count stems from an alleged September transaction where a fraudulent test was sent to an individual who had paid Toli $200 through Venmo. Prosecutors say they will seek to recover the money made over the course of the alleged scheme.
Toli's case is one of several highlighted by the U.S. Department of Justice in a coordinated effort to combat COVID-19 health care fraud. Other featured cases stem from charges based in Washington, California and Florida, among others.
Toli's next court appearance is set for May 10 in Salt Lake City's federal courthouse.