CHICAGO — A Winnetka businessman has been found guilty of buying thousands of N-95 masks early in the pandemic and selling the protective wear at significant markups.
Krikor Topouzian, 62, was convicted of buying nearly 80,000 masks through his health supply business in April of 2020.
Prosecutors say Topouzian bought the masks for about $5 each and resold them for $20 – a markup of approximately 185% to 367% per mask. Topouzian engaged in the price gouging despite repeated warnings, including from law enforcement, about the illegal nature of his conduct, even after the government labeled them “scarce materials” and friends told him his prices were too high.
Prosecutors also allege that Topouzian boasted about “making massive profits,” stating in a text exchange that he was making $50-80,000 a day and about $1 million on some weeks.
He could face up to a year in prison. Sentencing is set for Oct. 10.
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