HOUSTON — After spending $1.7 million for N95 face masks that were deemed counterfeit, the City of Houston has recovered most of the money.
The mayor’s office confirms that its legal department has recovered $1,332,429.73.
Court records show that at the beginning of 2021, the city paid a company called Med-Tech Resource in Eugene, Oregon for approximately 900,000 N95 masks from 3M.
A city employee questioned the authenticity of the masks after hearing that a lot of masks on the market were counterfeit.
After contacting 3M, it was determined that the masks were fake.
Court records show that one of the indicators that determined authenticity was a holographic seal with the word “Peru” on it. 3M officials said that they didn’t use that seal and other shipments with the same seal were all confirmed counterfeits.
The masks were intended for frontline workers but were never used.
Homeland Security Investigations and Houston Police worked the case.
A law enforcement source tells KHOU11 that the recovered money was from seizures in the federal case against Med-Tech Resource.
The case is ongoing.