We’re not the first to remark that the novel coronavirus outbreak has exposed the worst of humanity, from spring-breaker ‘covidiots’ to unscrupulous ‘entrepreneurs’ who hit every Costco and Wal-Mart in a 60 mile radius to stock up on cleaning supplies and medical supplies.
They then turned around and sold those same products on Amazon and eBay at ridiculous mark-ups. Some might call it ‘entrepreneurship’, others would call it ‘crisis profiteering’. Despite governors and AGs taking steps to prioritize prosecution of these ‘coronantrepreneurs’ – after all, many big box stores across the northeast and other parts of the country are still out of toilet paper – they persist, and sometimes, many try to act like what they’re doing isn’t a crime.
A south Brooklyn man was arrest last week for allegedly “coughing” on FBI agents who tried to arrest him after investigating him for selling medical supplies including N95 masks at illegal markups. The arrest was one of the first cases of profiteering in the New York area, though other incidences of “coughing” have occurred. One “knucklehead” is even facing terror charges.
The suspect, Baruch Feldheim, 43, was charged with assaulting federal officers and lying to them about his accumulation and sale of medical supplies, the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey said in a statement released Monday, Bloomberg reports.
Ultimately, Feldheim wasn’t charged with profiteering, only with the charges stemming from assaulting the agents. The agents had been staking out Feldheim’s residence in Brooklyn, watching people leave with what appeared to be medical supplies. Prosecutors said that Feldheim sold supplies at markups as high as 700% to doctors and nurses.
Agents confronted Feldheim outside his home on Sunday (March 29). The FBI agents approached Feldheim outside his house, identified themselves and asked him to stay at a safe distance. In response, the agents said Feldheim “coughed in their direction without covering his mouth” and shouted that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Hospitals in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere are running so short on masks and other vital medical gear that doctors and nurses are being forced to reuse disposable masks for days at a time. One doctor in New Jersey contacted Feldheim on March 18 through a WhatsApp chat group called “Virus2020!” and arranged to buy about 1,000 N95 masks and other goods for $12,000.