Brooklyn man allegedly price-gouged doctors, intentionally coughed on arresting agents

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BROOKLYN— A Brooklyn man accused of selling medical supplies to doctors at massive markups allegedly intentionally coughed on FBI agents and told them he had COVID-19, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Monday.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, was arrested on charges of assaulting a federal officer and with making false statements to law enforcement.

On March 18, a New Jersey doctor contacted Feldheim via a WhatsApp chat group labeled “Virus2020!” Feldheim allegedly agreed to sell the doctor masks and other materials for $12,000, an approximately 700 percent markup.

The doctor was told to go to an auto repair shop to pick up the order, Carpenito said. The doctor found enough “materials, including hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supply agents, and surgical supplies, to outfit an entire hospital.”

The Department of Health and Human Services designated some health resources, including the ones for sale by Feldheim, as necessary to respond to the coronavirus crisis on March 25.

On Sunday, FBI agents approached Feldheim at his home after they spotted him with boxes that appeared to contain medical supplies, officials said. Then he allegedly couched on them and told them he had coronavirus.

Several others have been arrested after coughing on law enforcement officers.

COVID-19 fraud, hoarding, or price-gouging can be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud’s National Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or e-mail disaster@leo.gov.

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