The Tennessee brothers who tried to capitalize on the coronavirus outbreak by stockpiling nearly 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer with the intent to resell the goods at marked-up prices have now had their stash cleaned out.
Matt and Noah Colvin drew widespread fury over the weekend after their effort was profiled by The New York Times, in which they were revealed to have cleared out hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes from stores around Chattanooga, Tenn., and parts of Kentucky.
But on Sunday, Matt Colvin helped volunteers from a local church place two-thirds of his massive supply onto a truck destined to deliver the products to Tennesseans in need, according to the newspaper. The remaining third reportedly was seized by officials from the Tennessee attorney general’s office and will be handed over to authorities in Kentucky for distribution.
“It was never my intention to keep necessary medical supplies out of the hands of people who needed them,” Matt Colvin told the New York Times. “That’s not who I am as a person. And all I’ve been told for the last 48 hours is how much of that person I am.”
Colvin added he has received hate mail and death threats and has expressed remorse for his actions, the newspaper says.
“I’ve been buying and selling things for 10 years now. There’s been hot product after hot product. But the thing is, there’s always another one on the shelf,” he said in an interview with The New York Times. “When we did this trip, I had no idea that these stores wouldn’t be able to get replenished.”
After the brothers made headlines, news outlets reported that investigators with the Tennessee attorney general’s office ordered the Colvins to end any profiteering strategies. The state, which has had laws against price gouging, is investigating the case.
“I just want to make clear that donating the sanitizers does not mean they are off the hook legally," Samantha Fisher, a spokesperson for the office, told WRCB. "If evidence establishes they engaged in price gouging we will seek appropriate penalties.”
Matt Colvin sold the sanitizer online for between $8 and $70 each, multiple times higher than what he paid for the product at local stores, the Times reported. But then Amazon and eBay suspended his seller accounts.
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.