Muskegon man faces federal charges in mask scam

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MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A Muskegon man is behind bars, accused of federal wire fraud for allegedly selling N95 masks online and then never shipping them to customers.

Because Rodney Stevenson II lives in Michigan but the majority of the victims listed in the case are in California, the case is being handled by U.S. attorneys in both states. Preliminary hearings are being held in West Michigan before the team in California takes over.

Authorities say Stevenson, 24, is the man behind EM General LLC, which was created in September. Investigators say he was listing N95 masks for sale on the EM General website for exorbitant prices.

em general website
A screenshot of the phony EM General website. (April 28, 2020)

But he didn’t actually have any of those masks in stock, investigators say. Most of the paying customers never got anything even though the company said they had shipped. In one case, after back-and-forth emails, Stevenson just sent a customer who paid more than $400 some fabric masks, federal investigators say.

Three of the four victims listed in case live in and around San Francisco. One works for a hospital.

Stevenson is accused of fabricating other parts of his company, too, allegedly making up a CEO and presenting stock photos from the internet as EM’s management team.

If convicted of federal wire fraud, Stevenson faces 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

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