‘Be On Lookout For Schemes’: DOJ Launches Task Force On Hoarding, Price Gouging
Among profiteering crimes being reported are hoarding of masks at a time when health care professionals need them, targeting of Medicare patients for fake COVID-19 tests and physicians prescribing anti-viral drugs promoted by President Trump to healthy patients.
U.S. Task Force To Tackle Coronavirus Market Manipulation, Hoarding
The United States is launching a task force to address market manipulation, hoarding and price gouging related to the coronavirus pandemic, following an order by President Donald Trump to crack down on such crimes. At the same time, federal law enforcement agencies across the country are prioritizing investigations into an array of coronavirus-related crimes following reports they have surged. (Lynch, 3/25)
The Washington Post:
Justice Dept. Warns Hoarders Of Masks And Drugs That Trump Has Touted As Coronavirus Treatment
Federal prosecutors have not charged anyone with crimes stemming from coronavirus-related hoarding, though they have brought a civil case against a website claiming to distribute vaccines, which do not exist. Officials said the scope of the problem is still largely unknown. But Barr said at the White House that officials had “already initiated investigations of activities that are disrupting the supply chain and suggestive of hoarding,” as well as directing each of the U.S. attorney’s offices to designate a lead prosecutor in their offices to handle any cases that might be brought. (Zapotosky, 3/25)