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Man charged with price gouging and hoarding PPE agrees to donate supplies, federal prosecutors say

Amardeep Singh wears a face shield as he

Amardeep Singh wears a face shield as he poses in front of stocks of disinfectant in an Instagram post in April. Credit: US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District

The federal case against a Woodbury man accused of both price gouging and hoarding in connection with the sale of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus epidemic was resolved Friday when he agreed to donate more than $450,000 worth of the PPE "to hospitals, health care providers, first responders and other essential workers," federal officials said.

Amardeep Singh, 45, also must not commit any crimes for the next 24 months under the terms of a deferred prosecution agreement filed in federal District Court in Central Islip by Eastern District prosecutor Anthony Bagnuola.

Singh, who operates a retail store in Plainview and a warehouse in Brentwood, was arrested in April on a complaint charging him with violating the Defense Production Act, officials said. He was the first person arrested in the nation under the act in connection with the epidemic, officials said.

The charge is a misdemeanor that carries a prison sentence of up to one year.

When Singh was arrested federal postal inspectors "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," officials said.

Officials said at the time that Singh had been charging $1 for face masks that he paid seven cents for — a markup of 1,328%; and $24.99 for a 32-oz. bottle of hand sanitizer that cost him $8.50 — a markup of 194%.

The donated material is the personal protective equipment that was seized from Singh’s business operation, officials said.

"The defendant has accepted responsibility for taking advantage of a public health emergency for personal profit," Acting Eastern District United States Attorney Seth Ducharme said in a statement. "Today’s deferred prosecution agreement is a victory for heroic health care workers and first-responders who will benefit from the personal protective equipment relinquished by the defendant in their continuing battle against the COVID-19 virus."

Singh’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.