Brooklyn Man Baruch Feldheim Accused of Hoarding N95 Masks, Selling Them at 700% Markup, Coughing On FBI Agents

Chris Menahan
InformationLiberation
Mar. 31, 2020

Baruch Feldheim, 43, was arrested on Monday for allegedly making false statements to the FBI and hoarding desperately needed medical supplies, including nearly 200,000 N95 masks which he was selling at a 700% markup.

When the FBI came to arrest him, he allegedly coughed on their agents and claimed he had the coronavirus.

According to a Department of Justice press release, Feldheim was hoarding enough medical supplies "to outfit an entire hospital."


From The Department of Justice, "Brooklyn Man Arrested for Assaulting FBI Agents and Making False Statements About His Possession and Sale of Scarce Medical Equipment":
NEWARK, N.J. – A Brooklyn man was arrested today for allegedly coughing on FBI agents while claiming to have COVID-19, and with lying to them about his accumulation and sale of surgical masks, medical gowns, and other medical supplies, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, was arrested by special agents of the FBI today and charged by complaint with assaulting a federal officer and with making false statements to law enforcement. Feldheim is scheduled to have his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On March 25, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services issued an executive order designating certain scarce health and medical resources necessary to respond to the spread of the Coronavirus. Those designated materials included N95 filtering face-piece respirators, personal protection equipment (PPE) face masks, surgical masks, sterilization services, and disinfecting devices, among other things.

Feldheim allegedly sold certain designated materials, including N95 respirators, to doctors and nurses at inflated prices. In one instance, on March 18, 2020, a doctor in New Jersey contacted Feldheim via a WhatsApp chat group labeled “Virus2020!” Feldheim agreed to sell to the doctor approximately 1,000 N95 masks and other assorted materials for $12,000, an approximately 700 percent markup from the normal price charged for those materials. Feldheim directed the doctor to an auto repair shop in Irvington, New Jersey, to pick up the order. According to the doctor, 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.

On March 23, 2020, Feldheim allegedly offered to sell a nurse a quantity of surgical gowns and directed the nurse to his residence in Brooklyn. Feldheim also received, on March 25, 2020, a shipment from Canada containing approximately eight pallets of medical facemasks. On March 27, 2020, FBI agents observed an empty box of N95 masks outside of Feldheim’s residence.

On March 29, 2020, FBI agents witnessed multiple instances during which individuals approached Feldheim’s residence and walked away with boxes or bags that appeared to contain medical supplies. On that date, FBI agents approached Feldheim outside of his residence. 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. When the agents were within four to five feet of him, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth. The agents then told him that they were looking for certain PPE materials and that they had information that Feldheim was in possession of large quantities of such materials. At that point, Feldheim told the FBI agents that that he had the Coronavirus.

Feldheim then made false statements to the FBI agents regarding his possession and sale of personal protective equipment and other materials. He falsely told the agents, among other things, that he worked for a company that bought and sold personal protective equipment and other materials and that he never took physical custody of the materials. Feldheim further falsely stated that he did not possess large quantities of personal protective equipment materials and that he never sold them directly to individuals.

The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. The false statements charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Here's video allegedly showing the FBI seizing box after box of 3M N95 masks from Feldheim's apartment:


The cases look identical to this one which says it holds 160 masks:



"Following Feldheim's arrest, the FBI on Monday night raided a warehouse on Pennsylvania Avenue in an industrial section of Linden, NJ, that housed Feldheim's suspected stash of 80,000 masks [Update below, feds are claiming they seized nearly 200,000], a source said," the New York Post reported. "Mask-wearing agents and other workers placed the eight pallets of medical supplies into a box truck."

You can see photos of the massive pallets seized from his warehouse on the Post's website.

Interestingly, another man by the name of George Falcone was recently arrested in New Jersey for allegedly coughing towards a woman just to rile her and yet he was charged with terroristic threats and faces seven years in prison while Feldheim here who coughed at the FBI and endangered the public at large due to hoarding and price gouging thousands of desperately needed N95 masks faces only six.

Incidentally, the New York Times made a front page story out of a guy buying 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer but they buried Feldheim's story which is conservatively 10 times worse.

I wonder why?

UPDATE, April 1: It sure is amazing how the media couldn't care less about what may be the biggest price gouging scandal of the entire coronavirus crisis:







The Times did cover the story but they buried it in a "live updates" thread rather than give it its own page.

UPDATE II:


From The New York Post, April 2, "Feds distribute 200K N95 masks seized from coronavirus hoarder":
Federal officials said Thursday they are giving nearly 200,000 N95 respirator masks to New Jersey and New York after confiscating them from a hoarder.

The masks, along with about 600,000 medical gloves, 130,000 surgical masks and other protective equipment, were taken Monday by authorities, according to a joint statement by federal officials.

[...] "HHS will pay the owner of the hoarded equipment pre-COVID-19 fair market value for the supplies," according to a statement.
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