Feds: Mississippi man hoarded PPE, price gouged healthcare providers

A Mississippi businessman allegedly defrauded healthcare providers of $1.8 million by hoarding personal protective equipment and price gouging healthcare providers, according to a Jan. 27 release from the Department of Justice

The indictment alleges that Kenneth Ritchey of Ocean Springs, Miss., acquired PPE from all possible sources, including home improvement stores and online retailers, and hoarded the materials. Due to the nationwide shortage of PPE, Mr. Ritchey allegedly directed sales representatives to solicit healthcare providers to purchase the PPE at excessively inflated prices through high-pressure sales tactics and by misrepresenting sourcing and actual costs. Mr. Ritchey allegedly sold N95 masks to healthcare providers for as much as $25 each, despite acquiring the masks at much lower prices. 

Mr. Ritchey was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to commit hoarding of designated scarce materials and hoarding of designated scarce materials. 


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