U.S. Attorney seeks help from hospitals to report hoarding and price-gouging of medical supplies
U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman sent a letter to Northern Ohio hospitals today encouraging employees and medical professionals to report individuals and companies that may be acquiring or selling medical supplies for the purpose of price-gouging or hoarding.
“Our office is prioritizing the deterrence, investigation, and prosecution of wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 pandemic—including those engaged in hoarding and/or price-gouging critical medical supplies,” said U.S. Attorney Herdman. “We are asking for your assistance in identifying individuals and companies that may have acquired vital medical supplies in excess of what they would reasonably use, or for the purpose of charging exorbitant prices. 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, governmental 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 various hospitals and healthcare systems in Northern Ohio 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.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office encourages the public to report COVID-19 related fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or email tips to the Northern District office at USAOHN.COVID19@usdoj.gov.
Read U.S. Attorney Herdman's letter to hospital leadership below.