FBI Arrests New York Man Selling PPE at 700% Markup
This is a new kind of low! A New York man is accused of price gouging, selling PPE to health care workers at a 700% markup.
The FBI arrested Baruch Feldheim for allegedly selling PPE, including N95 respirators, to doctors and nurses at inflated prices, according to the US Attorney's Office.
In one instance, Feldheim agreed to sell a doctor approximately 1,000 N95 masks and other assorted materials for $12,000, an approximately 700 percent markup. Feldheim directed the doctor to an auto repair shop in New Jersey, to pick up the order. The repair shop contained enough materials, including hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supply agents, and surgical supplies, to outfit an entire hospital, according to documents and statements made in court.
On March 29, FBI agents approached Feldheim outside his residence after several people were seen walking away with boxes or bags that appeared to contain medical supplies. When the agents were within four to five feet, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth, claiming he had the coronavirus.
Feldheim told FBI agents he worked for a company that bought and sold personal protective equipment and other materials and he never took physical custody of the materials. Feldheim further falsely stated he did not possess large quantities of PPE materials and he never sold them directly to individuals.
Feldheim is charged with assaulting a federal officer and making false statements to law enforcement. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. The false statements charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
If you see hoarding or price gouging, you're asked to report COVID-19 fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud’s National Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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