LAPD arrests Santa Monica woman, seizes 61 unapproved coronavirus test kits

Los Angeles Police Department detectives arrested a Santa Monica woman suspected of peddling tests for the coronavirus that haven’t been approved by federal regulators.
(National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Los Angeles Police Department detectives arrested a Santa Monica woman on suspicion of peddling tests for the novel coronavirus that were not approved by federal regulators.

Detectives who specialize in commercial and intellectual property crimes took Ying Lien Wang into custody Tuesday afternoon and seized 61 test kits that lacked approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the LAPD said Wednesday.

None of the kits have been tested by the federal agency and “could pose a risk to anyone using them,” the LAPD said.

Public health officials warn that unauthorized tests can produce false negatives and cause people to eschew treatment or not isolate themselves to prevent the virus from spreading.

Wang, 39, advertised the kits on Craigslist and sold them on three occasions to undercover investigators with the LAPD and Homeland Security Investigations, according to the LAPD.

She was arrested on suspicion of violating city business codes that prohibit false advertising, the LAPD said, and faces pending charges of breaching state health and safety codes.


Anyone with knowledge of Wang’s operation is asked to call detectives at (213) 486-5940.