Garbarino Introduces Legislation to Increase Penalties for Coronavirus-Related Fraud and Price Gouging

May 12, 2020

Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R,C,I-Sayville) introduced legislation which would increase penalties for fraud related to the coronavirus pandemic (A.10390) and price gouging for medical supplies (A.10410). He and Sen. Chris Jacobs (R,C,I-60th Senate District), who is the Senate sponsor, are looking to protect New Yorkers from scams and those who would take advantage of people during public health crises.

“There are selfish individuals taking advantage of New Yorkers who are in crisis during this coronavirus outbreak, but Sen. Jacobs and I are seeking stiffer penalties for those who defraud people and extort those who need medical supplies,” said Garbarino. “I know law enforcement has been receiving an uptick of complaints and others have called my office about cases of individuals trying to interfere with unemployment, federal stimulus payments and other aid. Everyone has now been made more vulnerable to these scams. These selfish, unlawful actions cannot be tolerated.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have been warning the public about increases in fraudulent and scamming activity. As of May 3, the FTC has taken nearly 20,000 fraud complaints, with a total estimated loss of $23.3 million nationwide. The median loss of reported cases was $516. Nationwide, there are cases where fraudulent test kits and vaccines are being sold and other scammers are promising mask orders which never arrive. More locally, a man in Nassau County was charged for hoarding and selling critical personal protective equipment (PPE) at excessively high prices.