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How opportunists got rich off COVID pandemic by stealing our money

Loan Scams

How opportunists got rich off COVID pandemic by stealing our money


On Saturday, April 26, 2020, Robert Stewart Jr., a 33-year-old contractor from Virginia, invited an investigative reporter to take a trip on his private jet. 

“I’m talking with you against the advice of my attorney,” Stewart laughed, before bringing J. David McSwane aboard a luxury Legacy 450 Flexjet, which he’d rented to deliver six million N95 masks during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stewart had recently landed a $34.5 million contract with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which operates the nation’s largest network of hospitals, promising to provide them with enough of the medical-grade (and at the time, scarce) masks to meet the overwhelming demand.

Problem was, there were no masks aboard the plane.

“The only reason I took the plane was because of my parents,” Stewart explained to McSwane. “They’re old and I didn’t want them to get sick, and I wanted them to see this.” 

Robert Stewart (above) secured a $34.5 million contract to supply the Department of US Veterans Affairs with six million N95 masks. Although he claimed to have secured the masks, they were never delivered.

Stewart said he was a dedicated businessman with the best of intentions, trying to do his part in a global pandemic even though all the odds were against him. It wasn’t his fault that he wasn’t able to deliver as promised, even if he’d already spent some of the money —including, ostensibly, for the private…

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