Two brothers are now under investigation in Hixson, Tennesee, for allegedly trying to resell antibacterial products on Amazon for profit during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
Boxes full of sanitizer, wipes, and masks were removed from Matt Colvin’s home and storage units on Sunday after the state attorney general sent him and his brother Noah a stop and desist order, according to the Associated Press (AP).
“The items, including 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer, were donated to a local church and some supplies will head to Kentucky where Colvin had cleared store shelves,” the article said.
Sunday morning, WRCB reporter Hunter Hoagland recorded several individuals loading the boxes into a U-Haul truck.
HAPPENING NOW: Matt did not answer our calls so we went to his storage unit. The AG’s office was on the scene facilitating with the donation. This is the 3rd stop they’ve been to this morning to gather the sanitizer. @WRCB https://t.co/SLOaEwJLOj pic.twitter.com/REJPNhiSbS
— Hunter Hoagland (@HunterHoagland) March 15, 2020
The office of Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced on Saturday it had ordered the brothers to “stop buying and selling medical goods and products following reports of possible price gouging while an investigation into their actions is underway.”
We will not tolerate price gouging in this time of exceptional need, and we will take aggressive action to stop it. During this pandemic, we ask that you report suspicious activity to the Division of Consumer Affairs and refrain from threatening or hostile communication with individuals or businesses you may suspect are price gouging. Our team will review complaints closely and we are prepared to act to protect Tennesseans.
In early March, the Colvin brothers cleaned out local store shelves of sanitizing products after officials confirmed the first death due to the coronavirus in the United States.
Before the items were pulled from his Amazon account and thousands of other similar listings, Matt reportedly sold 300 bottles of hand sanitizer priced between $8 and $70 each.
Prior to the investigation, Matt claimed he was considering donating the leftover items, according to WRCB.
“I just want to make clear that donating the sanitizers does not mean they are off the hook legally,” Samantha Fisher of the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office later explained.
“If evidence establishes they engaged in price gouging we will seek appropriate penalties,” she stated.
Matt has since apologized for his actions but said his family has received death threats and was forced to leave when strangers came to their home in Hixson.
“I am beside myself with where we are with my family and I’m scared for my family’s safety,” he concluded.