(WKBN) – An Ohio attorney is asking medical professionals to report individuals and companies that are collecting or selling medical supplies in order to price-gouge or hoard them.
U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman sent a letter to hospitals and healthcare systems in northeast Ohio to fight back against fraud during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Our office is prioritizing the deterrence, investigation, and prosecution of wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 pandemic—including those engaged in hoarding and/or price-gouging critical medical supplies…We are asking for your assistance in identifying individuals and companies that may have acquired vital medical supplies in excess of what they would reasonably use, or for the purpose of charging exorbitant prices. These practices are not only morally repugnant in light of the pandemic we are facing, but also, if left unchecked, can inhibit hospitals, physicians and other health care professionals, governmental agencies, and the public from fully implementing measures designed to save lives and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.”U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman
Attorney General William Barr asked all 93 U.S. Attorneys to prioritize investigating this fraud on March 20.
COVID-19-related fraud can be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 1-866-720-571. Tips can also be sent through email to USAOHN.COVID19@usdoj.gov.