BORO PARK – A man was arrested by the FBI for allegedly coughing on the agents and lying about hoarding ‘scarce medical equipment’ this morning.
Baruch Feldheim, 43, allegedly hoarded and sold certain medical supplies like N95 masks to doctors and nurses for extremely high prices.
According to the U.S Attorney’s Office, Feldheim agreed to sell about 1,000 N95 masks and other supplies for $12,000 to a doctor in New Jersey who reached out to Feldheim on a WhatsApp group named “Virus2020!” on March 18 – “an approximately 700 percent markup from the normal price charged for those materials.”
Feldheim then told the doctor to pick up the order in an auto repair shop in Irvington, New Jersey. 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.”
On March 23, Feldheim allegedly agreed to sell a nurse a large number of surgical gowns. He had directed the nurse to his home in Boro Park to pick up the supplies. On March 27, FBI agents observed an empty box of N95 masks outside his home.
On March 29, FBI agents witnessed many instances where people came to Feldheim’s home and walked away carrying boxes and bags with medical supplies. According to the U.S Attorney’s report, FBI agents approached Feldheim and told him they would keep a distance between him to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Feldheim then coughed in their direction without covering his mouth. He told the agents he had the coronavirus.
Feldheim allegedly lied to the agents and said he worked for a company that bought and sold personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. He also falsely claimed that he did not possess large quantities of equipment nor had he sold them to anybody.
He was arrested and charged with assaulting a federal officer and with making false statements to law enforcement. 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. He will be appearing at Newark Federal Court today.