N.Y. store owner charged under Defense Production Act for allegedly price gouging PPE

Shanon Peckham

OAN Newsroom – One America News Network

In this undated photo provided by the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, personal protective equipment is seen on a table in a Brentwood, N.Y., warehouse. (A Bagnuola/US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:22 PM PT — Saturday, April 25, 2020

A New York man has become the first person to be charged under the Defense Production Act for allegedly hoarding and price gouging personal protective equipment. On Friday, the Justice Department announced a criminal complaint against Amardeep Singh, the owner of a retail store in Plainview near Long Island.

He has been accused of hoarding massive amounts of PPE and selling it at overpriced rates.

The act, which was invoked by President Trump in March, prohibits the stockpiling of items like face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves amid the pandemic.

The man’s lawyer has said Singh was making those items available to a community in need and claimed there is nothing criminal about that.

In this Thursday, April 16, 2020 photo, Members of staff don their PPE, personal protective equipment to avoid being infected or transmitting coronavirus, during a training session at the Nightingale Hospital North West set up in the Manchester Central Convention Complex in Manchester, northern England. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

“My client, like many other individuals around the country, are selling PPE to communities, to people who need it, to police officers who aren’t getting it, to hospital workers and other front line first responders,” stated attorney Brad Gerstman. “I simply cannot wrap my mind around criminalizing this activity.”

In a recent video, Singh apologized for making what he called an “honest mistake.” The store owner is facing up to one year behind bars.

WATCH: Report: Obama Admin. Repeatedly Cut PPE Stockpile, Failed To Replenish Supplies

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