April 29 (UPI) — Two men were charged with conspiring to violate the Defense Production Act by seeking to resell protective masks at increased prices.
Kent Bulloch and William Young, Sr., were charged in a criminal complaint unsealed in a federal court in Brooklyn for attempting to sell one million KN95 protective masks at a 50 percent mark-up in New York City, the Department of Justice said.
The actions violated the Defense Production Act, which President Donald Trump invoked in an executive order on March 18, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The measure makes it illegal to acquire medical supplies and devices designated as scarce by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in order to hoard or sell them for excessive prices.
Young and Bulloch sought investors to purchase the one million KN95 masks for double or triple their original purchase price, the complaint alleges.
Bulloch also created an escrow agreement for a federal law enforcement agent posing as an investor falsely stating that the profits on the re-sale of the masks would not exceed 10 percent.
Bulloch was arrested Monday night in California and will appear in federal court via teleconference in San Francisco and Young will appear via teleconference in Phoenix.