Ex-Pitt Emergency Management Director Sentenced for Selling Stolen PPE During Pandemic
In February and March of 2020, the former campus emergency management director sold the stolen N95 masks on eBay for $11 each.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Christopher Casamento, 43, the former director of emergency management at the University of Pittsburgh, was sentenced on Thursday to four years’ probation, 180 days of house arrest, and a fine of $4,000 for stealing more than 13,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and then selling them online during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was also ordered to make full restitution to the University of Pittsburgh.
Casamento stole more than 13,000 pieces of Aura N95 and other respirator masks and sold them from his eBay vendor page to buyers nationwide at excessive prices in February and March 2020, according to the Department of Justice. Casamento earned approximately $18,783.50 from the sale of the stolen PPE.
The FBI was alerted to Casemento’s illegal activities by PayPal that it had processed 71 eBay sales, reports TribLive. He sold N95 masks for $11 each even though they retailed for $1.50 a piece.
He also was fired from his job in July, which paid an annual salary of $95,000, reports TribLive. He is currently separated from his wife.
The ex-emergency manager pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property back in February.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, states, hospitals, and other organizations resorted to extraordinary measures to obtain PPE due to the shortage of masks. 3M, a manufacturer of N95 masks also received many reports of counterfeiting and fraud relating to the sale of their masks.
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