In early 2020, severe shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks, gloves, and gowns occurred when the COVID-19 virus created a very large and immediate demand. While manufacturers tried to boost production to increase supplies, fraudsters jumped in and created scams to boost their profits. (Did you know that the fraudster motto is ‘Never waste a crisis’?)
A Philadelphia man, Gauravjit Singh, 26, was one of those enterprising criminals who devised a scheme involving 10 victims who sent him more than $2 million to purchase PPE. His multiple victims entered into an agreement to pay approximately $7.1 million in exchange for about 1.5 million medical gowns, which were to be sourced to the City of New York. The victims wired Singh their part through his company GHS Solutions, LLC. (But the gowns never got delivered. Does this surprise you?)
Instead of fulfilling his promise to provide more than a million medical gowns to a medical community that was desperate for supplies, Singh spent his investors’ money on personal expenses such as online gaming. (Because it’s not a big deal to lose money that’s not yours.) He also transferred some of the funds to his brokerage account. (For safekeeping, I’m sure.)
The Philadelphian pleaded guilty to wire fraud and for orchestrating a $2 million PPE fraud scheme. When sentenced, he could get up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (It’s safe to say that this unscrupulous man is having his own personal crisis and there’s no amount of PPE that could ever protect him from his impending sentence.)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Philadelphia Man Admits To $2 Million Protective Equipment Scheme,” dated September 22, 2021.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia man admitted Wednesday that he orchestrated a $2 million scheme in which he falsely promised to sell personal protective equipment.
Gauravjit Singh, 26, pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge, according to federal prosecutors in New Jersey. He now faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced Feb. 10.