Orange County Man Charged with Scheming to Defraud Buyers of Medical-Grade Gloves During COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Shortage
LOS ANGELES – An Orange County man is expected to be arraigned in federal court today on an indictment charging him with defrauding victims who paid for COVID-related medical protective equipment that was never delivered, causing nearly $3 million in losses.
Christopher John Badsey, 60, of Lake Forest, was arrested by FBI agents on July 8 without incident. He is charged with four counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. He is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.
According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on July 7, Badsey falsely represented that he had access to millions of boxes of medical-grade nitrile gloves through his Irvine-based company, First Defense International Security Services Corp. (FDI) This type of personal protective equipment was in high demand and short supply during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Badsey allegedly entered into contractual agreements with victims, whom he required to provide a money deposit to inspect the gloves before delivery.
After receiving the deposits, Badsey allegedly instructed victims to travel to the Los Angeles area, where he claimed the gloves were stored in a warehouse. But when victims attempted to visit the warehouse, Badsey and other FDI employees allegedly provided excuses as to why the gloves could neither be inspected, nor delivered, to the victims.
Nitrile gloves were never provided to the victims, and Badsey is alleged to have absconded with the deposit money totaling nearly $3 million. After obtaining the victims’ wire deposits, Badsey and others are believed to have used those funds to make lavish purchases for their personal benefit.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted of all charges in the six-count indictment, Badsey would face a statutory maximum sentence of 100 years in federal prison.
The FBI investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Melissa S. Rabbani of the Santa Ana Branch Office is prosecuting this case.