Georgia Man Allegedly Tried To Sell $750M in Nonexistent Masks To Veterans Affairs
By Aaron Boyd
Senior Editor, Nextgov
APRIL 13, 2020
The man tried the same scheme on state governments, according to prosecutors.
Federal agencies are cracking down on coronavirus-related fraud, including schemes targeting government agencies.
On Friday, the Justice Department announced charges against a 39-year-old Georgia man for allegedly trying to sell more than $750 million in “nonexistent respirator masks” to the Veterans Affairs Department.
According to a release announcing the charges, Christopher Parris, of Atlanta, told VA he could source 125 million face masks and other personal protective equipment, or PPE, despite allegedly knowing he could not deliver.
“For example, the complaint alleges that Parris promised that he could obtain millions of genuine 3M masks from domestic factories when he knew that fulfilling the orders would not be possible,” the release states. “Parris also allegedly made similar false representations to other entities in an effort to enter into other fraudulent agreements to sell PPE to state governments.”
Parris was charged with wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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