A Georgia man in the United States tried to sell personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect against the COVID-19 virus to various medical companies and government agencies for a total of $ 65 million. At the same time, he did not have these PPE.
Christopher Parris, who lives in Lawrenceville, Georgia, faces 30 years in prison for fraud in connection to a presidentially-declared emergency, according to the US Department of Justice.
Investigators believe that one target of the criminal scheme was the US Department of Veterans Affairs. In March 2020, Parris offered ministry officials to buy 125 million masks from his medical company, Encore Health Group, but demanded a $ 3 million advance payment first. Officials accept Parris’ terms amid fast-moving pandemic to protect veterans and health care workers.
In April 2020, the businessman was arrested.
On August 10, Parris pleaded guilty and told investigators that in the same way he received more than $ 7 million from eight other clients.
In total, Parris sought orders in excess of $65 million for the non-existent PPE equipment.
In addition, Parris also pleaded guilty to fraud related to a Ponzi scheme. Between 2011 and 2018, he and his accomplice, Perry Santillo, raised at least $ 115 million for their Lucian Development company from approximately 1,000 investors. Subsequently, the investors’ money was stolen.
Parris is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8.