Baruch Feldheim, Borough Hall, Brooklyn man arrested after coughing on FBI agents who were investigating him for hoarding medical supplies. 8 pallets of hoarded supplies found.
Can one ever make enough out of a pandemic… lessons in hoarding.
A Brooklyn man claiming to be infected with novel coronavirus has been arrested after coughing on FBI agents who were investigating him for hoarding medical supplies, the US Attorney’s Office said in a release on Monday.
Baruch Feldheim, 43, was booked with assault and making false statements to the feds on Sunday outside his Borough Park home where he allegedly sold and stored massive amounts of N95 respirator face masks, federal officials said. The sale was coordinated via a WhatsApp chat group called ‘Virus2020!‘.
Feldheim is also accused of price-gouging. On March 18, Feldheim was suspected of selling a New Jersey doctor about 1,000 of the masks for $12,000, a markup of roughly 700 percent, authorities said.
Of note, Feldheim was not charged with profiteering.
The man’s arrest comes as hospitals in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere are running so short on medical equipment that doctors and nurses are being forced to reuse disposable masks for days at a time. Others have been ordered to wear eye goggles and garbage bags, leading to the death of one nursing manager who’d been exposed to infected patients at Manhattan’s West Sinai Hospital.
Good god: A 43-year-old man in Brooklyn named Baruch Feldheim was allegedly selling N95 masks and medical supplies to doctors and nurses at a 700% markup. @ZekeFaux reports that when FBI agents arrived he coughed on them https://t.co/D2jr5LjSjH
— Max Abelson (@maxabelson) March 31, 2020
As FBI agents approached the hoarder he coughed on them, claiming he had COVID-19:
According to the release, the accused fraudster also directed another doctor to an Irvington, NJ, auto repair shop to pick up another order. There, the doctor reported to investigators that Feldheim was allegedly hoarding enough medical supplies ‘to outfit an entire hospital,’ the nypost reports.
Recovered items included: hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supply agents and surgical supplies.
By last Monday, Feldheim was operating from his Brooklyn home, offering to push surgical gowns to a nurse, the feds said.
Two days later, the suspected hoarder received a shipment to his home of about eight pallets of face masks.
FBI agents then staked out his his house, first noticing empty boxes of N95 masks outside.
On Sunday, they said they witnessed ‘multiple instances’ of people approach Feldheim’s residence and walked away with what appeared to be medical supplies.
The agents confronted Feldheim outside his house, keeping a safe social distance over coronavirus fears.
‘When the agents were within four to five feet of him, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth,’ the US attorney’s release said. ‘At that point, Feldheim told the FBI agents that that he had the Coronavirus,’ the statement said.
Feldheim then allegedly lied to FBI agents regarding his possession and sale of medical supplies.
He falsely told the agents that he worked for a company that bought and sold PPEs and that he never took physical custody of the materials. Indeed.