- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Several days after Maryland officials canceled a $12.5 million contract with Blue Flame Medical LLC claiming that personal protective equipment was never delivered to the state, the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into the company.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that an order for 1.5 million N95 masks and 110 ventilators from Blue Flame never arrived. A spokesman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told the Washington Post that the two parties agreed for the order to be shipped on April 14, though the purchase order says June 30 because it marks the end of the fiscal year.

Mike Gula, one of the company’s founders, told the Wall Street Journal that Blue Flame intends to fulfill the order by June 30. But now DOJ investigators are getting involved.

Another contract Blue Flame had with California is also under scrutiny, the Post reported.

Mr. Hogan has not commented publicly on the matter but will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday to give an update on Maryland’s COVID-19 response and economic recovery plan.

“After directing Maryland’s attorney general to investigate this company last week, Governor Hogan is encouraged to hear that there is an ongoing federal investigation as well,” spokesman Mike Ricci told the Post.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

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