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AG James orders medical supply firm to stop selling PPE it doesn’t have

July 29, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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Attorney General Letitia James and a medical supply company have come to an agreement that the company will stop selling personal protective equipment (PPE) that it doesn’t have in stock, the AG’s Office announced on Tuesday.

James’ office sued Frank Borgese and IMPACT Medical & Surgical Solutions last month and claimed that the company was allegedly selling N95 and KN95 respirator masks that it did not possess and could not obtain by promised delivery dates.

The proposed consent order and judgment that was submitted to the New York State Supreme Court this week would resolve that lawsuit by barring Borgese and IMPACT from selling PPE or COVID-related test kits until January 2023. Even then, they would only be allowed to resume sales if they pay a $100,000 bond each.

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“When IMPACT Medical sold non-existent PPE, they put people’s health and lives at risk,” said Attorney General James. “This reprehensible conduct is as illegal as it is immoral. Our actions today send a message to all purported dealers: New York will not allow this type of fraud or deception to stand, and we will fight it across the nation.

“I urge defrauded purchasers of PPE and other COVID-related supplies to contact my office immediately, and I urge all New Yorkers to continue to follow our tips on how to avoid potential scams before purchasing PPE,” James continued.

James’ suit claimed that Borgese and IMPACT Medical allegedly solicited New York State and several health care systems across the country with fake offers for masks, including 3M brand N95 masks. In some cases they took up-front payments from hospitals and failed to deliver.

As part of the consent order and judgement, Borgese and IMPACT have admitted that neither were authorized 3M distributors, that they never had the items they purportedly sold, and that they could not meet delivery times.

This is part of a broader effort by the AG’s Office to keep New Yorkers from being taken advantage of by stoking their fears during the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 23,000 in the state. James previously successfully sued sellers on Amazon who made fraudulent claims about products such as air purifiers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced New York State to mobilize unprecedented resources and develop innovative solutions to provide PPE and other supplies to essential workers of the war against this deadly virus, and it’s disgusting frankly that some companies tried to exploit that situation for their own financial gain,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “I applaud the attorney general for taking decisive action to protect New York from IMPACT’s half-baked attempt to sell non-existent PPE.”

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