A New York City man accused of hoarding and reselling medical supplies at inflated prices to doctors allegedly claimed to have the coronavirus and coughed on FBI agents as they questioned him about his dealings during the pandemic.
Baruch Feldheim, 43, was arrested Monday for allegedly making false statements and assaulting a federal officer after medical workers tipped off authorities to his alleged underground business, which involved reselling medical supplies to doctors at a 700% markup, authorities said.
Feldheim, who allegedly stockpiled the supplies at his Brooklyn home and in an auto repair shop in New Jersey, had enough materials to outfit an entire hospital, one doctor told authorities. These materials allegedly included hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supply agents and surgical supplies, according to criminal documents.
During a visit to Feldheim’s home on Sunday, FBI agents said they saw multiple people arrive and walk away with boxes or bags that appeared to contain medical supplies.
The agents identified themselves to Feldheim outside of his home and said he intentionally coughed, without covering his mouth, in their direction while standing four or five feet away. When the agents asked about his alleged hoarding of supplies, Feldheim claimed to have COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, and denied possessing large quantities of personal protective equipment and selling it.
The assault charge carries up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine, while the false statements charge carries up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
HuffPost could not immediately reach Feldheim for comment on Tuesday.