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Eargo Slammed on Criminal Probe, Withdrawn Guidance

Shares lose half their value in after-hours trading Wednesday after disclosure of investigation into insurance reimbursement claims.
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Eargo Inc.  (EAR)   said after the bell Wednesday that it is the target of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

The company said in an SEC filing that the investigation is “related to insurance reimbursement claims the Company has submitted on behalf of its customers covered by federal employee health plans.” It was notified of the investigation on Tuesday. Eargo said it is cooperating with the investigation.

Eargo, Inc., sells hearing aids through online stores. The company’s products range from $1,500 to $3,000. It makes a significant effort on the site to say they “May be covered by federal insurance.” In addition it breaks out its “Federal Employee program” on the site.

As a result of the investigation, Eargo said it is withdrawing its financial guidance for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31. 

At the time of its last earnings report, on Aug. 12, Eargo said it was increasing its full-year net revenue guidance to between $93 million and $96 million from an earlier range of $89 million to $93 million.

In addition, Eargo said it has “been the subject of an ongoing claims audit by an insurance company that is the Company's largest third-party payor. The Company has been informed by the insurance company that the DOJ is now the principal contact related to the subject matter of the audit.”

It also said it “ intends to work with the government with the objective of validating the process to support any future claims that the Company may submit for reimbursement.”

Shares of Eargo fell $11.31, or 52%, to $10.36 in after-hours trading.