Pair arrested in alleged PPE scam amid coronavirus outbreak
RIVERSIDE, CA -Two men were arrested after they allegedly lied about being personal protection equipment (PPE) dealers and tried to scam an investor out of millions of dollars.
Federal prosecutors say Donald Allen, 62, and Manuel Revolorio, 37, tried to fool an investor with photographs of boxes of masks. Allen and Revolorio created a website for their company, International Commerce and Investment Group, and claimed to have contracts and agreements to sell millions of masks that they didn't actually own, according to the FBI.
"The alleged behavior here is nothing short of a betrayal of fellow citizens -- both those serving on the front lines, and the communities who need those essential workers able to safely serve," FBI Assistant Director Bill Sweeney said.
The investor, who was asked to wire $4 million, became suspicious and went to the authorities, according to the complaint. He then agreed to follow the instructions of the FBI when he went to inspect the merchandise.
"As alleged in the complaint, the defendants sought to take advantage of the urgent national need for life-saving personal protective equipment through a fraudulent scheme designed to line their own pockets," said Richard Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Allen and Revolorio face wire fraud charges.
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