“Shark Tank” star Daymond John tried to hawk N95 masks for a high price to desperate Florida officials trying to get the critical gear to frontline healthcare workers, according to a report.
John, who is the CEO of the Shark Group, offered to sell the 3M-made masks to the state at $7 a pop, more than three times the market rate, the Miami Herald reported.
“This was not somebody off the street, this was Daymond John,” Jared Moskowitz, director of the state Department of Emergency Management, told the newspaper.
Moskowitz said the reality star, who founded the streetwear brand Fubu, touted his experience in the apparel world.
“He came to me and said, ‘I’ve been in the clothing business. I have connections with factories in China,’” Moskowitz said.
Desperate to get the supplies, the state agreed to pay $7 million to John’s Shark Group for 1 million masks, the newspaper reported.
Under an unusual agreement, the state signed the purchase order March 25 with the law firm, Foley & Lardner, which would handle the transaction with the company, according to the report.
But by mid-April, the multi-million dollar deal fell through, though it’s unclear why it went up in flames, the outlet reported.
Referring to the state’s various botched attempts to buy supplies, Moskowitz said “many people were duped,” the newspaper reported.
Shark Group’s deal was now among the ones being looked at by Minnesota-based 3M, which is going after fraud and price gouging of its supplies, according to the newspaper.
Shark Group could not be reached for comment, the outlet reported.
A rep for John didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.
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