Atlanta Man Tries To Take Advantage of the COVID-19 Crisis By Trying to Sell $750 Million Worth of Fake Masks to VA
Christopher Parris , of Atlanta Georgia, was arrested on April 10, 2020 on a wire fraud charge with connection to the latest corona virus scheme of trying to sell non-existent masks and other PPE to the Veterans Affairs in exchange for large up-front payments. Parris is accused of making many false statements and representations in order to try to convince the VA to order millions of dollars’ worth of 3M masks as well as other personal protective equipment. He claimed he could obtain millions of masks from factories domestically and foreign. Parris is alleged to make these similar claims to other companies and agencies. If Parris is convicted, he could face up to 20 years in Federal Prison as well as a hefty fine which could be close to $250,000. There are many who are trying to exploit the COVID-19 crisis as a way for them to make large amounts of money very quickly.
The stake holders involved within the case of Christopher Parris, are listed below:
· Veteran’s Affairs ( VA )
· Department of Justice ( DOJ )
· 3M Company ( PPE Seller )
· Other agencies/organizations who were contacted by Parris
The ethical theory that is Individualism states that the only goal of business to to obtain profit as well as hold the only obligation maximizing profit for the business with little regard to other businesses. Part of the Individualistic theory is that the business must stay truthful when conducting themselves. Parris did not exemplify the trait of staying truthful as his whole scheme was based on lies. Parris tried to lie and sell non-existent masks to a truthful organization of VA. Parris lied in saying that he could obtain millions of masks through factories domestic and foreign. This is totally against the perspective of that of an individualist. On the other hand, Parris’s main goal was to maximize profit for the business (himself) by coming up with and acting upon his grand scheme of selling “ghost masks”. Parris acted in the way of a selfish individual in that he had no regard to what would happen to these organizations and businesses that he was trying to sell these fake masks too as it would have possibly caused these organizations and businesses to go under/bankrupt. The Individualism Theory would not support that acts of Parris with regards to his scheme.
In the ways of the Utilitarianism Theory is that the only thing of value is pleasure or overall happiness with all the stake holders involved when dealing with the business or person. This means that the main goal for a business is to create positive outcomes with minimal negative situations and make everyone around the business as well as within the business feel happy and satisfied with the dealing of said business. With regards to the money scheme that was tried to be carried out by Parris, there were no positive outcomes of his dealings with the VA and other organizations/businesses. When Parris tried to sell of masks that he did not have as well as demand large upfront payments for the alleged millions of masks provided by factories, he did not obviously think of the repercussions of these actions and the massive loss of money and donations associated with the fraud. If the fraud had taken place fully, many people would be out of a lot of money at the expense of Parris wanting to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. In the ways of Utilitarianism, Parris did not act accordingly and went completely against the ways of Utilitarianism.
The way in which Parris tried to deceive multiple organizations/ businesses is totally against the views of Kantianism. This theory calls for being truthful at all times and to “never deceive or harm people or otherwise use them for your own personal gain” (Salazar 2). Parris was gloatingly lying and deceiving the companies in which he was dealing with in order to gain profit. This way of conducting business is very much against the ways of Kantianism as well as highly illegal. Parris tried to get companies to commit to his fake scheme with statements and representations of the millions of masks he so called claimed could get. If the scheme had not been caught and played out, the organizations/businesses would have endured great harm from the loss of millions of dollars of money that would have been received by Parris for personal gain. Parris would have collected a huge sum of money from the VA and the VA would be out millions of dollars as well as no masks in which they were promised. This is completely against the theory of Kantianism.
The Virtue Theory operates on the premise that rationality is what distinguishes different peoples characteristics. This theory was brought about through Aristotle’s Functionalism which also says that a person who are good people and rational, will always live a happy and good life. The Virtue Theory has 4 main virtues of character in which a person should possess in order to live a good and happy life. The 4 main virtues are that of justice/fairness, honesty, courage, and temperance/self-control. Chris Parris did not operate while using these 4 main virtues at all actually and went against what the Virtue Theory preaches and that is to be a good person and truthful to gain a good outcome and life. Because of his own actions, Parris will most likely be going to Federal Prison for 20 years and be hit with a $250,000 fine on top of everything. Parris, while trying to gain profits for himself and himself only, tried to take the money from a veteran organization which would have hurt those who actually needed the money. Parris tried to exploit the situation of COVID-19 in a way that would have benefited him and hurt many of those the money would have helped and for that reason among others, a Virtue Theorist would not view Parris as a Virtue-st.