Price Gouging & COVID-19
By Jonathan Blecher on April 20, 2020
The Price Isn’t Right
Across the country, prices for some of the most basic items have suddenly increased. When the supply is short for items in high demand, businesses and individuals can take advantage of price gouging basic commodities. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Florida has experienced over 1,000 complaints concerning price gouging on face masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies, which is being handled by the state Attorney General, Ashley Moody. So far, the state has refunded more than $79,000 to victims, issued 56 subpoenas and deactivated over 100 online posts where “outrageous prices” appeared.
Florida is one of the many states experiencing sharp increases in price gouging amid the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be shocked to learn about the type and quantity of these offenses that are happening across the country.
Examples of Today’s Price Gouging
The New York Times reported countless cases of this crime:
- Florida: One seller was offering 15 N95 face masks on Amazon — for $3,799.
- A convenience store was selling milk for $10 a gallon.
- Complaints of a four-pack of toilet paper selling for $25 on eBay.
- Reports of pharmacies charging $30 for 8 ounces of hand sanitizer.
- A smoke shop was charging $79.99 for 36 rolls of toilet paper.
- One store had raised the price of lentils and rice by 60%.
- Another store had opened a box of 10 dust masks that normally sells for $25 and reselling them in Ziploc bags for $6 to $10 apiece.
- Wisconsin: Officials said they had sent cease-and-desist letters to 16 businesses suspected of illegally raising prices on N95 masks, as well as basic food items like pinto beans, milk, limes, rice, water and cookies.
- Kentucky: The state is scrambling to respond to 1,500 complaints of price gouging, most of them related to masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, wipes, paper towels and toilet paper.
Jonathan Blecher, P.A. can Defend Your Case
The law is cracking down on price gougers, making it difficult to get away with this crime. If you’ve been accused of price gouging, it is vital that you retain my defense as soon as possible so I can develop a convincing and aggressive case on your behalf. During these unprecedented times, your price gouging accusation may hurt you even harder without my experienced, dedicated legal advocacy.
Contact my firm online or call 305-321-3237 for you free consultation!