The report said that, shortly after Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to obtain 3M’s respirators, Great America PAC (which raised more than $40 million in support of Trump) co-founder Eric Beach formed Colt International, touting connections with 3M despite having no known experience in supplying medical goods.
CBS News cited a letter sent to prospective customers and signed by Beach that claimed Colt International would work directly with 3M and its distributors and offering Beach’s contact information. Another letter claimed that Colt’s ties to 3M would provide local governments, hospitals and first responders access to a stock of “several billion units” of N95 respirators, which are in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, the network reported.
A letter from Colt’s partners said that Colt would be upselling the 3M masks after acquiring them, with a document confirming that the masks were offered by Colt for $2.20 each, compared to 3M’s list price of $1.27. Additionally, the group sought a 10% commission on the final sale, according to CBS News.
The network said it confirmed with 3M that the company had no professional relationship with Colt International, while Beach told the news outlet that he “only worked to connect medical buyers through various contacts” and had no professional relationship with 3M.
3M has spent much of the pandemic fighting against middleman sellers and price-gouging efforts centered around its N95 masks. Earlier this month, 3M said it has already filed more than a dozen lawsuits against fraud, price gouging and counterfeiting, winning five temporary restraining orders and four preliminary injunction orders.
The company also said that, amid the pandemic, the prices of its N95 respirators remains the same. So far, 3M has secured the removal of more than 3,000 websites with fraudulent or counterfeit product offerings, more than 4,000 deceptive social media posts and more than 100 deceptive internet addresses.
MassDevice reached out to the White House and 3M for comment but has not received a response.