Amardeep Singh Charged with Price-Gouging of COVID PPE
April 24, 2020 - NYC Indian and Plainview, NY retail store owner Amardeep Singh (45) is charged today under Defense Production Act for hoarding and selling scarce COVID-19 essentials such as face masks, face shields, surgical gowns and disinfecting products at inflated prices.
Amardeep Singh a.k.a Bobby Singh and Bobby Sidana owns and operates a network of retail entities (Singh Entities) - Warehouse Liquidation Center (WLC Mart) S&S Sports that sell sneakers, clothing and other apparel.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Amardeep Singh:
.....beginning in mid-March 2020, Singh — who operates a retail store selling sneakers and apparel — began accumulating that merchandise at his store and a nearby warehouse. At the same time, he set aside a section of his store for so-called “COVID-19 Essentials,” which he then sold to the public at inflated prices, including but not limited to N-95 filtering face piece respirators, PPE face masks, PPE surgical masks, PPE face shields, PPE gloves, PPE coveralls, medical gowns and clinical-grade sanitizing and disinfecting products.
Between March 25, 2020 and April 8, 2020, Singh allegedly received deliveries at his retail store and warehouse of 40 shipments of disposable face masks weighing more than 1.6 tons, 14 shipments of disposable surgical gowns weighing more than 2.2 tons, six shipments of hand sanitizer weighing more than 1.8 tons and seven shipments of digital thermometers weighing approximately 253 pounds. These and other items — some of which had been officially designated as scarce — were advertised and sold at Singh’s retail store at prices far in excess of prevailing market prices. For example, records obtained during a judicially-authorized search of the store indicate that three-ply disposable face masks that Singh purchased for a per-unit price of $0.07 were resold by Singh for a per-unit price of $1.00 — a markup of approximately 1,328 percent. The seized records also reveal that Singh completed bulk sales at inflated prices to organizations serving vulnerable senior citizens and children battling the virus.
On April 14, 2020, Postal Inspectors executed a search warrant at Singh’s retail store and a consensual search of the warehouse and seized 23 pallets containing more than 100,000 face masks, 10,000 surgical gowns, nearly 2,500 full-body isolation suits and more than 500,000 pairs of disposable gloves.
Charges Against Amardeep SinghThe charges against NYC Indian Amardeep Singh filed through a criminal complaint in Central Islip federal court include:
- Violating the Defense Production Act of 1950 by hoarding personal protective equipment (“PPE”) at a warehouse in Brentwood, New York, amid the COVID-19 pandemic
- Price-gouging customers of his retail store in Plainview, New York
Potential PenaltyIf convicted, Amardeep Singh faces up to one year in prison for violating the Defense Production Act of 1950 and engaging in hoarding and price gouging of scarce COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The charges against NYC Indian Amardeep Singh are mere allegations, and he must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.