‘Shark Tank’ star Daymond John was slammed by critics after being caught attempting to pull of a price gouging scheme in which he tried to sell N95 surgical masks to the state of Florida at three times the market price.
As Yahoo Entertainment reports:
The entrepreneur and CEO of the Shark Group tried to sell the 3M-made masks to the state for $7 each, which is more than three times the typical rate of about $2, according to a report published by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times.
The state decided healthcare workers in COVID-19 hot spots needed access to the much-needed masks, no matter the price, Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, told the Herald.
“This was not somebody off the street, this was Daymond John,” Moskowitz said. “He came to me and said, ‘I’ve been in the clothing business. I have connections with factories in China.’”
In a rushed attempt to respond to the high demand for supplies, the state signed a $7 million purchase order with the Shark Group, instead of purchasing the masks directly from the vendor, according to the report. Among those who signed the deal included the governor’s general counsel, Joe Jacquot, who had previously worked at the law firm Foley & Lardner, which handled the deal.
Although documents reportedly were signed, the deal ended up falling through according to the Miami Herald.
In spite of the apparent price gouging scheme John later responded to the reports by attempting to claim he had done nothing wrong.