A Brooklyn man claiming to have the coronavirus is facing charges after he allegedly coughed on FBI agents investigating him for hoarding medical supplies, according to the US Attorney's office.
On Monday, the US Attorney's Office said 43-year-old Baruch Feldheim faces charges for assault and making false statements on Sunday.
Feldheim is also accused of storing and then price-gouging massive amounts of N95 respirator masks from his Borough Park home.
Federal officers say that on March 18, he sold a New Jersey doctor about 1,000 of the masks for $12,000, for a markup of approximately 700 percent.
Authorities say he also directed another doctor to an auto repair shop in Irvington, NJ, to pick up a different order where the doctor reported Feldheim to investigators for allegedly hoarding enough medical supplies “to outfit an entire hospital.”
Officials say the materials included hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning agents and surgical supplies.
Last Monday, Feldheim offered to sell a nurse surgical gowns and two days later, he received a major shipment of about eight pallets of face masks to his home.
On Sunday, FBI agents said they witnessed "multiple instances" of people approaching Feldheim’s residence and walking away with what appeared to be medical supplies.
FBI agents staked outside Feldheim's home spotted empty boxes of N95 masks outside.
Agents confronted Feldheim outside his house while still adhering to a safe social distance amid the coronavirus crisis.
“When the agents were within four to five feet of him, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth,” the US attorney’s release said. “At that point, Feldheim told the FBI agents that that he had the Coronavirus,” the statement said.
Feldheim allegedly lied to FBI agents saying that he was in possession of medical supplies because he worked for a company that bought and sold PPE. He also reportedly said that he never took physical custody of the materials.
On Monday night the FBI raided a warehouse on Pennsylvania Avenue in Linden, New Jersey, where Feldhim’s suspected stash of 80,000 masks was held, the New York Post reports.