On Friday, March 26, Scarsdale Schools sent an email blast to Scarsdale families about a “bank fraud” guilty plea by former Sovereign Health Chief Investment Officer Barton Schack. Last year, despite the objection of several Scarsdale parents who are in the medical field, the district contracted with Sovereign Labs Services to handle any potential mandated or optional COVID-19 saliva testing. The district was not placed into a New York State designated yellow cluster zone or beyond, so testing was never mandated to keep schools open. Per the district email, only “some teachers have been tested on a voluntary basis” through Sovereign.
According to district letter, “This guilty plea has also implicated the CEO of Sovereign Health, an affiliate of Sovereign Lab Services. The District currently has a per-analysis service agreement with Sovereign Labs to provide PCR testing analysis, which is billed to each individual’s insurance.”
The district reportedly asked for an “explanation” and got the following response from Sovereign: “Barton Schack — and Barton Schack alone — has admitted that he was engaged in this criminal activity. In fact, Dr. [John] Hajjar [CEO] terminated Barton Schack’s employment and severed all relationships with him in July 2018 after questions were raised about monies Schack had transferred to himself and others. The issue at hand is not connected to Sovereign Laboratory Services, nor will it affect the operations of the laboratory.”
The district will follow the case “closely,” and is “evaluating” its relationship with Sovereign Labs.