Philadelphia Man Arrested for COVID-19 PPE Fraud
Authorities say a man from Philadelphia has been charged in connection to a $700,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) fraud scheme.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig says 26-year-old Gauravjit Singh is charged with one count of wire fraud. He was scheduled to appear by videoconference Friday before a judge.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Beginning in May 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singh engaged in a scheme to defraud by making various misrepresentations, including by claiming that he was a purveyor of PPE and that he had contacts at a factory in Nanjung, China, that manufactured medical gowns. Singh induced his victims to enter into an agreement with one of Singh’s businesses, Mask Medical LLC, pursuant to which Singh would be paid approximately $7.125 million in exchange for 1.5 million medical gowns, which ultimately were destined to the City of New York. His victims wired Singh, though his company GJS Solutions LLC, a deposit of approximately $712,500. After receiving these funds, Singh made additional misrepresentations and excuses, ensuring the victims that they would receive the medical gowns. Instead of purchasing and delivering medical gowns, Singh used the funds for personal expenses, including transferring funds to his brokerage account and using the funds for online gaming and other personal expenditures.
The one count of wire fraud carries up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
Anyone with information about fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721.