A HOARDER claiming to be infected with the coronavirus allegedly coughed on FBI agents who discovered a stash of medical supplies large enough to fill a hospital.
Baruch Feldheim is accused of storing massive amounts of N95 respirator masks and peddling them from his home in New York, the US Attorney's Office announced Monday.
On March 18, the 43-year-old Brooklyn resident sold 1,000 N95 masks to a New Jersey doctor for $12,000 - a 700 per cent markup, authorities said.
Feldheim instructed another New Jersey doctor to pick up another order from an auto repair shop, where the medic told investigators that the fraudster was allegedly hoarding enough medical supplies to "outfit an entire hospital."
Hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supplies, and surgical supplies were among the extensive stash.
Feldheim was still in business last Monday, offering to sell surgical gowns to a nurse, authorities said.
The suspected swindler received an enormous shipment of eight pallets of face masks to his home two days later.
FBI agents then staked out Feldheim's home and noticed empty boxes of N95 masks outside his home, where they witnessed "multiple instances" of people approaching his house and walking away with what appeared to be medical supplies on Sunday, prosecutors said.
When the agents got within a few feet of Feldheim, he allegedly coughed open-mouthed in their direction and told FBI agents he had the coronavirus, according to prosecutors.
He then lied to investigators about possessing and selling medical supplies, telling them he worked for a company that bought and sold PPEs but didn't own the materials himself.
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After Feldheim was cuffed on Monday, the FBI raided a New Jersey warehouse and found his stash of 80,000 masks, according to the feds.
His arrest comes as President Trump doubled down on claims that coronavirus masks are "going out the back door".
The accused fraudster faces charges of assault and making false statements to the federal authorities.
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