Brooklyn man busted for selling personal protection equipment, then coughing on FBI agents and telling them he had coronavirus, feds say

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — The coronavirus outbreak has revealed heroes in every community. And then there’s this guy.

A Brooklyn man who said he had COVID-19 coughed on FBI agents, and lied to them about personal protection equipment he was hoarding to try to make a buck, authorities said Monday.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, was arrested by FBI agents and charged with assaulting a federal officer and with making false statements to law enforcement.

Prosecutors said Feldheim had accumulated much needed N95 respirators, personal protection surgical masks, medical gowns and disinfecting devices and was selling them to health care professionals at inflated prices.

In one instance, according to authorities, a doctor in New Jersey contacted Feldheim via a WhatsApp chat group labeled “Virus2020!”

Feldheim agreed to sell to the doctor approximately 1,000 N95 masks and other assorted materials for $12,000, an approximately 700% markup from the normal price, according to court documents.

Feldheim directed the doctor to an auto repair shop in Irvington, N.J., to pick up the order, officials said.

According to the doctor, the repair shop contained enough materials, including hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supply agents and surgical supplies, to outfit an entire hospital, officials said.

Feldheim later told the doctor he’d been forced to move the supplies from Irvington to another location.

Days later, Feldheim allegedly offered to sell a nurse a quantity of surgical gowns, and directed the nurse to his residence in Brooklyn.

On Wednesday, Feldheim also received a shipment from Canada containing approximately eight pallets of medical face masks, authorities said.

FBI agents two days later observed an empty box of N95 masks outside of Feldheim’s residence.

Around that time, agents witnessed multiple instances during which individuals approached Feldheim’s residence and walked away with boxes or bags that appeared to contain medical supplies.

When they approached him outside his home and asked about the medical supplies, Feldheim said he had coronavirus and coughed on the agents, officials said. Prosecutors said Feldheim also lied and told the agents that he worked for a company that bought and sold personal protective equipment.

It was not clear if Feldheim or the agents had been tested for coronavirus.


©2020 New York Daily News

Visit New York Daily News at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.