One man's huge stockpile of personal protective equipment, which he was selling, grew too big to fit inside his Brooklyn apartment.
He was sending customers to a car garage a state away, in New Jersey, where entire pallets of masks and gowns were sitting.
On Monday March 30, a 43-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested after he made false statements to FBI agents about his accumulation of medical equipment, which he was selling to hospitals and doctors at gouged prices, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.
And in case "making false statements to a federal officer" wasn't impressive enough on the old rap sheet, the man piled on an assault charge when he coughed on the FBI agents despite telling them he tested positive for the virus.
According to a press release made by the U.S. Attorney's Office of New Jersey, Baruch Feldheim, if convicted of both charges, could face up to $350,000 in fines.
The FBI began investigating Feldheim when it became clear he was purchasing medical equipment needed to care for virus patients and selling that equipment "at an approximately 700 percent markup from the normal price charged for those materials," the court documents went on to state.
The document gives one example of a gouged transaction: a doctor purchased 1,000 N95 masks and other various materials via Feldheim's whatsapp group chat titled, "Virus2020!" for $12,000. The doctor was directed by Feldheim to go to a car repair garage in Irvington, NJ.
Prosecutors included the doctor's description of Feldheim's stockpile.
"The repair shop contained enough materials, including hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supply agents, and surgical supplies, to outfit an entire hospital."
"Feldheim later told the doctor that he had been forced to move all of those supplies from Irvington to another location."
During a March 29 stakeout, FBI agents observed multiple individuals entering Feldheim's Brooklyn residence and departing with boxes and bags of medical supplies.
That same day the agents moved in, identified themselves, and began to question Feldheim about his stockpile. He then openly coughed at the agents, claimed to have the virus, and denied possessing any of the items they alleged.
The next day, Feldheim was arrested and charged with making false statements to law enforcement and assaulting a federal officer.
One Twitter user even captured authorities unloading Feldheim's apartment.
Baruch Feldheim, 43, had allegedly been hoarding medical gear and resources essential to fighting the coronavirus o… https://t.co/D0sQgOwUYB— FanMatisse19(back up a/c for FanMatisse #❓) (@FanMatisse19(back up a/c for FanMatisse #❓))1585670529.0
The rest of Twitter did not primary source material to add.
So they blasted Feldheim however possible.
His entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of supply and demand received no empathy whatsoever.
@NYDailyNews Lock him in a ward with coronavirus patients.— Borborygmus "Wash Your Hands of the GOP" 🦀🌊🇺🇸 (@Borborygmus "Wash Your Hands of the GOP" 🦀🌊🇺🇸)1585613981.0
@JamesAGagliano Hope he enjoys his new roomies! https://t.co/lAcTO3kEXV— Laura (@Laura)1585624611.0
@NYDailyNews @TrueFactsStated If he didn’t have it, I’m sure he will very soon.— Jess Oh (@Jess Oh)1585616037.0
@BuzzFeedNews Baruch Feldheim, six years is not enough for the crimes against humanity that you have committed— evil4life (@evil4life)1585656982.0
The surging collectivist tendencies of people in response to the virus are not a given. Some, apparently, are going full capitalism.