Two Houston men have been charged with trying to fraudulently sell 50 million masks for $317 million to a foreign government. Paschal Eleanya, 46 and Arael Doolittle, 55 are now in custody.
Last month, in a separate case, Doolittle was charged with defrauding investors out of $1.2 million by pretending to have deals with Chevron.
Pascal Eleanya is a supply chain and operations executive who has worked for DuPont, Baker Hughes and Huntsman Corporation.
Both are charged for their role in a scheme to sell 50 million 3M model 1860 N95 respirator masks they did not actually possess to a foreign government. They negotiated a sales price of $317 million. This was five times the public list price that 3M had set.
Based on their representations, the foreign government allegedly wired the funds to complete the purchase. However, authorities disrupted the transaction before it could be completed.
If convicted, both Doolittle and Eleanya face up to five years in prison for conspiracy and up to 20 years in prison for each of the two counts of wire fraud. Each of these charges also carry a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The Secret Service conducted the investigation.