Philly Fighting COVID founder & CEO banned from working in Pennsylvania
In addition to his decade-long ban, Andrei Doroshin must also pay a $30,000 fee for damages, per Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
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Once seen as a critical figure during the early days of the COVID vaccine rollout, Andrei Doroshin, the founder, former director and CEO of Philly Fighting COVID, is now banned from working in the state for the next decade.
The ban prevents Doroshin from governing, controlling, administering and possessing charitable assets or soliciting charitable donations of any kind in Pennsylvania. He is also prevented from deriving financial benefits from any insurance company, government agency or third party entity.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has also ordered Doroshin to pay a $30,000 restitution fee, dissolve the startup and destroy all private data collected. The decree alleges that this is all for violating Pennsylvania consumer protection, charitable solicitation, and nonprofit corporation laws.
“Mr. Doroshin put people’s privacy at risk under the guise of serving as a nonprofit, and he is now being held accountable for those actions,” said Shapiro in a statement.
A consent decree has been sent to the Commonwealth for approval.
Philly Fighting COVID was established in April 2020 as a start-up nonprofit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, spending the first few months of its operation manufacturing, packaging, and delivering face shields.
The organization was ran by Doroshin, a former Drexel University student, and a group of college students. These students primarily had backgrounds in engineering, but no formal medical training.
After a few months, the start-up partnered with the Philadelphia Department of Health and received nearly $200,000 in funding to conduct COVID-19 testing.
In January 2021, the City of Philadelphia and health officials selected Philly Fighting COVID to help run the city’s first mass vaccination site, intended to help vaccinate the elderly and immunocompromised.
Today, I joined @PHLPublicHealth and @PhillyFighting for the first mass COVID vaccine distribution clinic in Philadelphia. Up to 2,000 healthcare workers can be vaccinated at this clinic, which is open only to home healthcare workers who have been invited. pic.twitter.com/v5EI9aArMQ— Jim #VaxUpPhilly Kenney (@PhillyMayor) January 8, 2021
However, just weeks later the City severed ties with the organization.
An investigation found that Philly Fighting COVID had switched to a for-profit company without informing city officials. It had also collected the personal and private information of city residents as part of its pre-registration process.
It was also found that Doroshin and other members of the organization began taking doses of the vaccine offsite from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and vaccinating one another with doses that were intended for the city’s most vulnerable communities.
In a statement, Mayor Jim Kenney thanked the Attorney General and his staff for their investigation and for holding Doroshin accountable.
“As we’ve said previously, working with Mr. Doroshin and Philly Fighting COVID was a mistake. Over the past 13 months, I’m proud that Philadelphia has become one of the most vaccinated cities in the country. That is thanks in no small part to the Department of Public Health’s tireless efforts and our incredible healthcare partners — with more than 80 percent of adults, or nearly one million people, now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 90 percent of residents 12 and older having received at least one dose,” said Mayor Kenney.
“Our administration remains committed to seeing our great city through the pandemic, to improving the racial and economic equity of vaccinations, and continuing the level of transparency that the public deserves,” he continued.
Once the court approves the decree, Doroshin will have 90 days to dissolve Philly Fighting COVID, and must pay his restitution fee by Monday, Sept. 5, 2022, or face an additional $30,000 in costs and penalties.
The restitution fee will be paid to the Office of the Attorney General for distribution to one or more charitable organizations to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccination to disadvantaged communities in Philadelphia.
According to the AG’s office, should any of the terms of the settlement be violated, Doroshin and Philly Fighting COVID could be liable for more than $700,000 in penalties and costs.
“If Doroshin or any of his associates from Philly Fighting COVID violate this order, my office will not hesitate to act,” said Shapiro.