A Philadelphia man today admitted orchestrating a $2 million scheme to defraud health care providers who were desperate for personal protective equipment and other supplies during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.
Guaravjit Singh, 26, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Court Judge Peter G. Sheridan, sitting in Trenton, to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.
Beginning in May 2020, Singh induced 10 victims to send him more than $2 million overall that he was supposed to use to obtain various personal protective equipment, prosecutors said. But he failed to provide anything and instead spent the money on personal expenses — such as online gaming — and also transferred funds to his brokerage account.
According to U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig, he stole the money, spending it on personal expenses, and he did not provide the promised merchandise to his victims.
Singh induced his victims to enter into an agreement with one of his businesses, Mask Medical LLC, pursuant to which Singh would be paid approximately $7.125 million in exchange for 1.5 million medical gowns, which ultimately were destined to the City of New York.
Under the terms of the agreement, the victims wired Singh, though his company GJS Solutions LLC, approximately $712,500, representing a 10 percent deposit for the medical gowns.
After receiving these funds from the victims, Singh made additional misrepresentations and excuses to the victims, ensuring them that they would receive the medical gowns.
Instead of purchasing and delivering medical gowns, Singh used the funds for personal expenses, including transferring funds to his brokerage account and using the funds for online gaming and other personal expenditures.
The count of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2022.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Additional victims associated with Singh’s conduct may reach out to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or visit www.fbi.gov.