U.S. officials said they would distribute a stockpile of personal protective gear, including 192,000 N95 respirator masks, which they seized this week from a hoarder.
43-year-old Baruch Feldheim hoarded 192,000 N95 masks, 600,000 gloves, and 130,000 surgical masks. He was selling them to doctors and nurses at prices as much as 700% above market value.
When FBI agents confronted Feldheim about the sales, he allegedly coughed in their direction and told them he had coronavirus.
Feldheim was charged with assault of a federal officer, as well as making misleading statements about his possession. Feldheim’s lawyer James Moriarty told ABC News that he “categorically denies” the charges.
He could face up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $350,000.
The departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS) said the equipment had been taken by a task force set up to crack down on coronavirus-related hoarding and price hikes.
According to HHS, Feldheim will be paid at market value for the gear being distributed to the New Jersey Department of Health.