A Brooklyn man suspected of stockpiling N95 respirator masks and selling them allegedly coughed on FBI agents who arrested him, claiming he was infected with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Baruch Feldheim, 43, was charged with assault and making false statements to federal authorities at his home in Borough Park, where he allegedly stored the masks, according to a New York Post report.
According to the U.S. Attorneys Office, Feldheim is suspected of selling a New Jersey doctor about 1,000 of the masks for $12,000, which is about a 700% increase over the usual price.
He allegedly also was hoarding other items in high demand, including hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, at an Irving, NJ auto repair shop, where he directed another doctor to pick up an order, according to the report.
A shortage of personal protective equipment for hospital workers and first responders has been an issue since the onset of the pandemic, prompting the federal government to send additional supplies, and some clothing companies to begin producing masks and other supplies.
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