The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into Blue Flame Medical, a firm created by two well-connected Republican operatives who started selling medical supplies this spring as the novel coronavirus spread across the country.
Prosecutors are focused on at least two contracts that the firm signed for medical masks and other equipment with Maryland and California, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of its sensitive nature. Both states ultimately canceled those contracts.
An attorney for Blue Flame, Ethan Bearman, has said the firm acted in good faith with the states. He declined to comment about the Justice Department investigation.
Last weekend, Maryland terminated a $12.5 million contract for personal protective equipment (PPE) with the firm after state officials said the company had failed to deliver masks and ventilators as promised.