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Public asked to look out for gouging of medical supplies needed for COVID-19

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Posted at 6:56 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 20:56:09-04

U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme has encouraged the public to report on potential stockpiling or price gouging of medical supplies needed to combat coronavirus.

The Department of Justice is getting reports of people stockpiling essential medical supplies to make windfall profits putting public health and safety at risk.

Hoarding these items makes it difficult for healthcare providers and first responders to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Hoarding critically needed medical supplies to get rich quick during a pandemic is not only morally reprehensible, it’s illegal. (It) puts the health and safety of individuals at risk and hampers efforts to stop the spread of this deadly virus.” U.S. Attorney Alme said.

This stockpiling prohibition doesn't include Americans who are stocking up on daily necessities, businesses needing supplies or manufacturers.

The goal is to locate potential stockpiles of designated materials, quickly confiscate the items and redistribute the supplies where they are needed.

Persons caught stockpiling supplies could face prosecution.

To report COVID-19 hoarding, price gouging and fraud scams to the Department of Justice’s fraud hotline at 866-720-5721 or email disaster@leo.gov.

For more information on the coronavirus, visit this website.