SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – On March 11, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic officially became a crisis in New Mexico. Larry Barker investigated how a business in Santa Fe called Bionet NM offered to supply the state with critical medical equipment. However, the state ended up paying nearly $8,000,000 for counterfeit masks.
- Read Larry Barker’s Investigation: Millions of dollars, questionable PPE, and a forgery: Did New Mexico get duped?
Below is the press release from Bionet regarding investigations being conducted by the FBI and the New Mexico Attorney General’s office. According to the statement, Bionet “believes it is a material witness to the events that took place with another third-party medical company, which is likely the target of the investigation.”
Below is a forged letter that was written on New Mexico National Guard stationary authorizing a Texas firm to obtain PPE from “factories in China” through a New Mexico vendor. The vendor number referenced in the letter is assigned to Bionet. When you take a close look at the letter, you can see that there are spelling errors on the letterhead.
Below is an invoice from when the arriving shipment of PPE was rejected.
Below is an image of an email showing communication between the State of New Mexico and Bionet NM. The email shows details of the State’s order for masks from Bionet NM. (Click image to zoom in on text)
Document below is courtesy of the American Dental Association. The infographic shows tips on how to spot counterfeit masks online as well as red flags to watch out for. It also shows how to tell if your N95 mask is counterfeit.