Philadelphia Man Arrested for COVID-19 PPE Fraud
NEWARK, N.J. – A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, man has been charged in connection with a $700,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) fraud scheme, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Gauravjit Singh, 26, is charged by complaint with one count of wire fraud. He is scheduled to appear by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Beginning in May 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singh engaged in a scheme to defraud by making various misrepresentations, including by claiming that he was a purveyor of PPE and that he had contacts at a factory in Nanjung, China, that manufactured medical gowns. Singh induced his victims to enter into an agreement with one of Singh’s businesses, Mask Medical LLC, pursuant to which Singh would be paid approximately $7.125 million in exchange for 1.5 million medical gowns, which ultimately were destined to the City of New York. His victims wired Singh, though his company GJS Solutions LLC, a deposit of approximately $712,500. After receiving these funds, Singh made additional misrepresentations and excuses, ensuring the victims that they would receive the medical gowns. Instead of purchasing and delivering medical gowns, Singh used the funds for personal expenses, including transferring funds to his brokerage account and using the funds for online gaming and other personal expenditures.
The count of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charge.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Additional victims associated with Singh’s conduct may reach out to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or visit www.fbi.gov.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren E. Repole of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.