CHICAGO (AP) — A northern Illinois businessman is facing federal charges of price gouging customers seeking to purchase of protective masks at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Krikor Topouzian of Winnetka was charged Thursday in a criminal information with violating anti-price gouging laws. The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum of one year in prison.
The 60-year-old owner of a Skokie-based medical supply company is accused of accumulating in March and April about 80,000 respirator masks for roughly just over $5 each. Topouzian later sold nearly 40,000 of the masks to customers for prices as high as $19.95 per mask.
Prosecutors allege nearly all the sales were made to individual customers.