A Chinese company which sold nearly a half-million fake and substandard N95 respirator to US buyers at the inception of the novel COVID-19 in April has been sued by the US Justice Department.
The department said in a complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Guangdong-based King Year Packaging and Printing shipped three batches of purported N95 masks, needed to protect medical and other personnel from the coronavirus, to US buyers.
Also in the complaint, the company had falsely claimed the 495,200 masks it shipped met the N95 standard, also falsely claimed they were certified by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The complaint indicated the importer of the fake N95 masks paid more than $1 million for them.
An FBI agent Douglas Korneski who investigated the masks deal said in a statement, that charges alleged in this complaint show a blatant disregard for the safety of American citizens.
“Had it not been for the actions of the investigative team, this defendant would have put first responders, hospital employees, and other front line workers directly in harm’s way with faulty equipment just to make a buck.”
The U.S justice department charged the company with four counts of importing misbranded and substandard health products and making false to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Each charge carries a maximum fine of $500,000, or if greater, twice what the company earned in selling the masks.
Reported by: Fatimah Oyesanmi