The company sold 60 rebranded ventilators for more than $1million — when it should have only cost $150k.
Billy Zane is distancing himself from a company that made 600% profit selling rebranded ventilators to the US Government during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to an in-depth investigation by USA Today, Parkpine Inc was paid $1.04million for 60 ventilators — about $17,000 each — in April 16 of this year, when need was at its most dire.
The units ordered, by the Department of Justice for Bureau of Prisons, were “Instapill” branded “Invasive INBREATH 300”; no such machine is approved by the FDA.
However the units that arrived were Philips-manufactured model Resperonics E30s (which were approved by the FDA under COVID emergency measures) — which the government can buy at a cost of $2,500 a piece. (Philips has no knowledge of — and has not given permission to — any companies re-branding its technology.)
Parkpine is, according to the publication, a Delaware company registered to a single-family home in Los Angeles, with a mailing address at an apartment in Chinatown, and tied to a business with “offices” in Silicon Valley and Hollywood that are actually just UPS Store mailboxes.
Its founder is a man called Ahmed Shabana, whom Zane previously described as a dear friend and business partner, and for whom he has headlined as a venture capital pitchman for his Global Ventures Summits, at lavish events across the world in the likes of Greece, Luxembourg, Egypt, and Indonesia.
Here they are together in a 2018 hour-long special for CNN Indonesia:
And posing together with the Greek investment minister Adonis Georgiadis in November of last year:
But according to an unnamed spokesman for Zane, the partnership never actually took off.
“Mr. Zane was approached to partner with Mr. Shabana and his company, Parkpine Capital, whose portfolio includes Global Ventures Summit. While he awaited delivery of basic corporate documents to review, he touted Parkpine’s interests in good faith,” the representative said in an email to USA Today.
“However, Mr. Shabana repeatedly failed to produce any documentation.”
According to the publication, Parkpine operates the website Instapill, which sold — among an assortment of vitamin and libido-boosting pills, as well as masks, wipes and hand sanitizer — a “Corona Virus Preventive & Immune Boosting” pill called Coronax.
As for the ventilators it sold, not one of them was ever used.
After more than two dozen attempts to get hold of him, Shabana eventually told USA Today Zane was not involved in the pill or the ventilator sales. TooFab has reached out to Zane for comment.
During its investigation, USA Today found Shabana and Global Ventures Summit hosted a pitch competition in LA in 2017, with the winner promised $50,000 in cash.
Here’s a video of eventual winner Trey Brown confronting him at another event two years later, claiming he never received a penny:
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