A video claiming that FBI agents have seized huge quantities of masks illegally hoarded inside a synagogue in New York after a raid is going viral on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. But in fact, there was no synagogue involved. The raid was conducted at an individual's apartment and he was arrested.
The video shared on Twitter claim that "The FBI raided a Jewish synagogue in New York and arrested people after they were caught hiding thousands of N95 masks that hospitals need."
On a tip-off when FBI agents raided his apartment, Feldheim allegedly said he had coronavirus, coughed on the agents and tried to assault them, when they flashed their ID cards and asked him to move so that they could search his apartment. The man is also accused of price-gouging.
He can be sentenced to a maximum of one year in prison and fined $100,000 for alleged assault and given a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for alleged false statements.
It is not known who first shared 2,20-minute-long footage connecting it to the synagogue. In reality, the incident has no relation to the synagogue at all. The video was shared by various Twitter users connecting it to the synagogue. It has received thousands of views and been shared hundreds of times.
According to BoomLive fact check, the video shared on YouTube was traced back to April 1, 2020 and was uploaded by a YouTube channel called "LiveLeak Media."
The description in the YouTube page claimed: "FBI raids apartment that hoarded N95 mask. A Brooklyn man claiming to be infected with the coronavirus coughed on FBI agents who were investigating him for hoarding medical supplies, the US Attorney's Office said. Baruch Feldheim, 43, is facing charges of assault and making false statements to the feds on Sunday outside his Borough Park home where he allegedly peddled and stored massive amounts of N95 respirator masks, federal officials said. Mask-wearing agents and other workers placed the eight pallets of medical supplies into a box truck."
The news of the raid on the apartment and arrest of Baruch Feldheim was confirmed by a report published in NYpost.com that gave the same details as mentioned in the YouTube link.
The report gave more details of the case and said that the raid was conducted on Feldheim's apartment on March 30, 2020. A press statement was also issued by the US Department of Justice with regard to Feldheim's arrest.
The statement said that a doctor from New Jersey contacted Feldheim through WhatsApp group Virus2020 and he agreed to sell 1,000 N95 masks and other medical materials for $12,000. This is 700 percent higher than the normal price charged. The doctor who visited Feldheim's repair shop as suggested said that the shop had hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supply agents, and surgical supplies, to outfit an entire hospital.
The FBI was tailing Feldheim when they observed many people walking away with boxes and bags of medical supplies from his apartment.