Married Couple Sentenced for Laundering $1.4 Million in Proceeds from Jewelry Thefts and Unemployment Fraud During Pandemic
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – July 11, 2023
SAN DIEGO – University City Dermatologist Mona Zohdi Mofid was sentenced in federal court today to two years’ probation after pleading guilty in April to misdemeanor hoarding of N95 respirator masks that had been designated scarce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her son, Adam Zohdi Mofid, who previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor accumulation of N95 respirator masks to sell for price-gouging prices was also sentenced to two years’ probation, including 60 days of home confinement. Additionally, Adam Mofid was fined $1.2 million dollars, and Dr. Mona Mofid was fined $100,000. Both were ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
Throughout 2020 and into early 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the demand for N95 respirator masks to explode far beyond their supply. In response, on March 25, 2020, N95 respirator masks and other personal protective equipment items were designated as scarce pursuant to the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), which authorizes the president to do so during times of national emergency. This triggered the DPA’s criminal anti-hoarding and anti-price-gouging provisions found at Sections 4512-4513 of Title 50 of the United States Code.
According to Dr. Mona Mofid’s plea agreement, from May 2020 to January 2021, she willfully purchased over 375,000 N95 respirator masks from medical supply companies despite knowing that doing so was unlawful at the time. Adam Mofid admitted in his plea agreement that during the same time period his company, Clinical Supplies USA, generated approximately $15,760,000 of gross income, mostly through the sale of N95 masks that were sold for, on average, 300 percent to 400 percent of their purchase price. For instance, on June 10, 2020, Clinical Supplies USA sold an individual 20 3M Model 8200 N95 masks for $16.99 per mask and 20 3M Model 8210Plus N95 masks for $17.99 per mask. Adam Mofid further admitted that he knew such sales in excess of prevailing market prices were illegal during that period of time.
“While many in our community, especially healthcare providers, responded valiantly to COVID-19, some people took advantage of the pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. “These defendants are paying the price for selling medical supplies at inflated prices during a national crisis.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team and the FBI for their excellent work on this case
“As the severity of the pandemic became apparent in our community and so many others, Mona and Adam Mofid sought to take advantage of the world-wide crisis, and gain an unfair advantage, by stockpiling these vital products and selling them for price-gouging prices to facilitate their greed,” said Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office. “In particular, Dr. Mofid’s hoarding of such sought-after medical products transgressed her oath as a physician to do no harm. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to hold price gaugers accountable and bring them to justice.”
DEFENDANTS Case Number 23cr530-DDL
Mona Zohdi Mofid Age: 51 La Jolla, CA
Case Number 23cr550-DDL
Adam Zohdi Mofid Age: 21 St. Louis, MO
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Defense Production Act – Title 50, U.S.C., Sections 4512-4513
Maximum penalty: One year in prison and fine of greatest of $100,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain
Federal Bureau of Investigations
*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
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 (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Assistant U. S. Attorneys Valerie H. Chu (619) 546-6750 and George V. Manahan (619) 546-7607