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.
federal investigators had reason to suspect the arrangement. The 39 million masks were advertised as N95 masks from 3M, the largest U.S.-based manufacturer. But 3M told federal investigators it manufactured only 20 million such masks last year
Saturday, April 11, 2020
"How a stockpile of 39 million masks [supposedly found by the SEIU] was exposed as fake"