“EPA is vigorously investigating fraudulent disinfectant sales to the public via online marketplaces" - John Busterud, EPA Region 9 Administrator
• Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to prevent entry of the unregistered product "Virus Shut Out," which was being imported from Japan and Hong Kong through U.S. ports in Honolulu and Guam.
• In coordination with CBP, seizure of "more than 7,800 illegal products" coming through international mail facilities at the main airports in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
• Meeting and working with U.S. retailers and third-party marketplace platforms to discuss imposter disinfectant products and those that falsely claim to be effective against the novel coronavirus.
• With the Department of Justice, arresting and bringing criminal charges against a Georgia resident for the illegal import and sale through eBay of an unregistered pesticide (Virus Shut Out) with allegedly fraudulent anti-viral claims.
Criminal charges are relatively rare in the environmental context, unless there is some truly intentional fraud or egregious misconduct (such as falsifying reports). While the facts of the case are not as yet fully public, and it is possible there is more to the misconduct in the case, criminal charges are a substantial escalation in the EPA response to the sale of unregistered pesticide products.