An Atlanta man was recently arrested and charged with attempting to defraud a federal agency. The arrest happened after he misrepresented to the Department of Veterans Affairs that he had the ability to sell them millions of 3M masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for $750 million. According to the report, he had no access to the PPE and no intention of fulfilling the “order.” The man is now facing up to twenty years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines.
Of the recent scams occurring, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a statement, “COVID-19 scams divert government time and resources and risk preventing front-line responders and consumers from obtaining the equipment they need to combat this pandemic.”
Federal authorities, while remaining vigilant against these situations, are urging the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 to the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline 1-866-720-5721 or by e-mailing the NCDF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crises bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. Going forward, background screening will help find those to whom this pandemic brought out the worst.
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