Ohio Sues Chagrin Falls Man for Hoarding, Price Gouging on Thousands of N95 Masks

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click to enlarge Ohio Sues Chagrin Falls Man for Hoarding, Price Gouging on Thousands of N95 Masks
Ohio AG's Office

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced the state of Ohio has filed a lawsuit against a Chagrin Falls man for hoarding thousands of N95 masks and selling them at an exorbitant markup during the pandemic crisis.

Mario Salwan and unnamed co-conspirators operated an eBay store under the account name of "Donkey476" where they were hawking 10-packs of N95 masks for more than $350 apiece. At least 15 customers bought the masks at that price, Yost said in a statement, and Salwan had acquired thousands of masks in the past month as the state of Ohio and hospitals struggled with limited PPE supplies.

A healthcare worker brought the posting to the attention of the AG's office after asking the account to consider a lower price for frontline workers. “You and your husband should work for free during this crisis, you are greedy!” Salwan replied to the nurse.

The 1,700-percent markup, as well as the vast quantities acquired, qualify as violations of Ohio's Valentine Act (in restraining trade) and Consumer Sales Practices Act (in price gouging during a national emergency), the lawsuit argues.

“There's another word for donkey that immediately comes to mind when thinking about these folks,” Yost said in a press release. “We will continue to take action against anyone else in this state price gouging during this pandemic.”

A copy of the lawsuit is viewable below. (Users may have to switch to desktop view.)

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