A man from Brooklyn, New York, coughed on FBI agents and told them he had COVID-19 when they went to question him about selling medical supplies. Federal prosecutors accused 43-year-old Baruch Feldheim of hoarding medical equipment, such as protective masks, gowns, and gloves, so he could profit off the coronavirus pandemic.
Agents observed several people walking out of Feldheim's home with what they believed to be boxes of medical supplies.
"After identifying themselves as FBI agents, they told Feldheim that they wanted to stay a distance away from him given concerns over the spread of Coronavirus," the Justice Department said in a statement. "When the agents were within four to five feet of him, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth."
Feldheim told the agents he had COVID-19, and he was taken into custody. Investigators discovered that he sold 1,000 N95 masks along with other materials to a doctor in New Jersey for $12,000, which worked out to be "an approximately 700 percent markup from the normal price."
The doctor told FBI agents that he met Feldheim at an auto repair shop in New Jersey and noticed that it was filled with enough items, including hand sanitizers, chemical cleaning supply agents, and other surgical supplies to outfit an entire hospital.
Feldheim is facing charges of assaulting a federal officer and making false statements. It is unclear if he will face charges for price gouging.
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