COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Chagrin Falls man will have to pay thousands of dollars in refunds after the state sued him for hoarding N95 medical masks and then selling them at a severely marked up price.
Ohio Attorney Genera Dave Yost announced Wednesday that Mario F. Salwan will pay back his customers more than $15,000 he charged them in total for the masks, along with $1,500 to the state for legal costs. The arrangement is part of a settlement reached after Yost's office sued Salwan last week.
"We will continue to make sure no one unjustly profits by exploiting the anxiety of others during this pandemic," Yost said in a statement. "The settlement also will provide essential equipment to the heroes—our doctors and nurses—who need it the most."
According to the investigators, Salwan and "co-conspirators" sold to-packs of N95 masks online for at least $360 each, when the normal price is about $20. The group used the ebay username "Donkey476," and Salwan allegedly even called hospital workers "greedy" for asking him to reconsider his price.
As part of the settlement, Salwan also surrendered 570 remaining N95 masks to the AG's Office. 560 were immediately donated to MetroHealth in Cleveland, while the remaining 10 went to health care professionals who alerted officials of Salwan's activities.
"I want to thank Attorney General Yost for his efforts in making sure that these masks are used by front-line personnel," Dr. Akram Boutros, MetroHealth president and CEO, said. "Personal protective equipment like this is invaluable in our community’s fight against COVID-19 because it keeps all care providers safe while they work tirelessly to keep our patients and our community safe."
You can read the entire settlement below:
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