Biggest Covid-19 Scam Yet: Texas Man Convicted of $317M Mask Fraud
There have been a lot of scams since 2020 involving Covid-19, but this is probably one of the biggest.
KHOU is reporting that Arael Doolittle has been sentenced to 54 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in July.
The Houston man was convicted of trying to scam the Australian government out of $317 million by selling N95 masks he didn't actually have.
The N95 Mask Scam
Federal investigators say Doolittle offered Australian officials 50 million 3M N95 respirator masks in April 2020.
However, he did not have any masks in his possession.
Before the government handed over the money, the feds were able to stop the fraud.
Who is Arael Doolittle?
Doolittle is a self-proclaimed Texan oil executive also known as 'Big Daddy', according to the Daily Mail, a British news website.
This case isn't his first scam by any stretch of the imagination.
Prior to the mask fraud, Doolittle also scammed victims who invested in a petroleum trading company out of almost $2 million. Instead of investing their money as promised, Doolittle used it to pay for unrelated business and personal expenses.
In that case, Doolittle was sentenced to 54 months in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
He must serve the two sentences consecutively, resulting in a total of 108 months in prison.
How to Report Covid-19 Related Fraud
If you have any information about attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at the center's toll-free number: 866-720-5721.
You can also submit information online through the NCDF Web Complaint Form.
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