RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA) — Federal prosecutors in New York said Monday that a pair of Inland Empire men allegedly tried to trick buyers into purchasing millions of dollars in protective medical equipment that they did not actually have.
According to prosecutors, 62-year-old Donald Lee Allen of Riverside and 37-year-old Manuel Revolorio of Rancho Cucamonga were allegedly the masterminds behind the scheme.
Prosecutors alleged the pair claimed to have a huge stash of personal protective equipment, including medical masks, that they did not actually own.
Investigators also alleged that the men set up a website for their company with false information and lied about their experience, credentials and inventory.
A federal complaint alleged that the defendants shrink-wrapped empty boxes, claiming they were filled with masks, and sent pictures of other masks that they did not own.
Prosecutors alleged the two men tried and failed to get one buyer to wire them more than $4 million and were caught when they sent those pictures to an undercover agent.
“At a time when we should be coming together to help one another and support our health care professionals who are working heroically to save lives, Donald Allen and Manuel Revolorio allegedly decided to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic for their own personal benefit,” Special Agent-in-Charge Jonathan Larsen said in a statement.
Back on April 17, CBS Los Angeles captured video of agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations raiding a Rancho Cucamonga home in connection with the case.
Prosecutors said that anyone with information about fraud, hoarding or price gouging related to the pandemic should report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.