A powerful California union that claimed to have discovered 39 million masks for healthcare workers fighting the novel coronavirus was duped in an elaborate scam uncovered by FBI investigators, the U.S. attorney’s office said Friday.
U.S. Atty. Scott Brady of the Western District of Pennsylvania said FBI agents and prosecutors stumbled onto the arrangement while looking into whether they could intercept the masks for the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Defense Production Act.
The federal government has been quietly seizing supplies across the country, taking the orders placed by hospitals and clinics and not publicly reporting where the products are being routed.
But in this case, there was no warehouse, and there were no masks to seize.
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