Goldmeiers pleads guilty to PPE hoarding and price hikes
CENTRAL ISLIP, NY (BRAIN) – Bike industry veterans Steven and Allen Goldmeier pleaded guilty Wednesday to hoarding surgical masks and selling them at ‘exorbitant’ prices to the state of Oklahoma .
The brothers are the former owners of Rand International, which purchased Ross Bicycles and its trademarks at a bankruptcy auction in 1988. Rand operated Ross for several years and imported and sold other bicycle products under various brands. Earlier this year, a brands board decided that the Goldmeier company had abandoned the brand, opening the door for members of the Ross family to resume use.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the brothers, through their toy company Millennium Products Group, has purchased millions of three-layer surgical masks from China for about $ 0.18 to $ 0.60 per mask. They sold 1,227,500 of these masks to the state of Oklahoma, among others, for $ 1.65 per mask, a mark-up of over 900%. They agreed to pay restitution to Oklahoma before sentencing. They face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $ 10,000.
“The defendants selfishly sought to make millions of dollars in profit during an unprecedented public health crisis by hoarding and exorbitantly selling personal protective equipment that the state of Oklahoma desperately needed to protect the public health and safety and saving lives, ”said Acting United States Prosecutor Kasulis. “This office will continue to do everything in its power to enforce the Defense Production Act and ensure that opportunists and defendants alike are held accountable for their indiscriminate acts of greed.”
On March 18, 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Trump administration invoked the Defense Production Act, making it illegal to acquire medical supplies and devices designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as rare in order to hoard them or sell them at excessive prices.
BRAIN has emailed Steven Goldmeier for his reaction, but we haven’t heard back.
Related story: The Ross family wants to revive their brand of bikes. The brand owner says he’s never gone. (November 2019)