Christopher Parris, 39, faces 20 years in prison for attempting to sell 125 million nonexistent face masks and other medical equipment to the Department of Veterans Affairs worth $750M.
The man approached the Department of Veteran Affairs and pretended he had 125 million face masks and much-needed PPE equipment and tried to secure orders worth $750 million.
The department followed him and found he is trying to do a scam worth millions of dollars.
The man was later arrested and sent to jail.
Parris has been charged with wire fraud. The maximum penalty for his charge could be 20 years in prison with $250,000 fine.
‘We will vigorously pursue fraudsters who exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to make money,’ said Attorney General William Barr (pictured)
‘As this case demonstrates, even beyond the typical costs associated with unlawful behavior, 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.
‘The Department of Justice will not tolerate this conduct, especially when it involves this kind of egregious attempt to target and defraud our nation’s treasures – our veterans,’ Barr added.
As confirmed coronavirus cases increase every hour, the US is facing a huge shortage of face masks and Personal Protective Equipment.
Parris appeared before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, where he was ordered detained.
Authorities said Parris will be moved to Washington DC soon.
‘During this time of crisis, fraud or attempted fraud impacting services for veterans, who have selflessly served this country, is unconscionable,’ said US Attorney Timothy Shea for the District of Columbia.
‘My office will devote whatever resources are necessary to stop scams aimed at exploiting Americans during this unprecedented pandemic.’