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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

U.S. Attorney Jay Town Seeks Help from Local Hospitals in Reporting Hoarding and Price-Gouging of Medical Supplies

Birmingham, Ala. — U.S. Jay E. Town sent a letter to hospital executives in Northern Alabama today, encouraging employees and medical professionals to report individuals and companies that may be acquiring or selling medical supplies for the purpose of hoarding and/or price-gouging. 

“While this pandemic has brought to the fore the very best among us, we are unfortunately becoming increasingly aware of myriad coronavirus-related criminal activities in our District and around the country,” Town said.  “In relevant part to the medical providers, these crimes include Medicaid/Medicare billing manipulations, the sale of fake or counterfeit personal protective equipment, sale of bogus medicines related to COVID-19, and the hoarding and/or price gouging of critical medical supplies and materials.  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, government agencies, and the public from fully implementing measures designed to save lives and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.”

The letter was sent to hospitals and healthcare systems in Northern Alabama, as part of a coordinated, nationwide effort to combat COVID-19 related fraud.  On March 20, Attorney General William Barr directed all 93 U.S. Attorneys to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of COVID-19 fraud.

U.S. Attorney Town encourages the public to report COVID-19 related fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 1-866-720-5721or to the email address disaster@leo.gov

Read U.S. Attorney Town's letter to hospital leadership below.

Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Updated April 15, 2020