TRENTON – The state is going after price-gougers post-hurricane.
State officials said today that 65 subpoenas have been issued to businesses around the state concerning more than 500 consumer complaints of price gouging in the days after Hurricane Sandy.
“Having visited some of the hardest-hit areas of our state, and having seen firsthand the suffering people are experiencing, I assure New Jersey’s residents and retailers that we are taking a zero-tolerance approach to price gouging,” said Governor Christie in a release. “Fuel, electricity, food, and a place to sleep are not luxuries, certainly not for individuals who have been displaced from their homes and in many cases have limited resources at their disposal. We are not asking businesses to function as charities. We require that they obey New Jersey’s laws – or pay significant penalties.”
Attorney General Jeff Chiesa noted that the state has received allegations of price gouging from all regions of the state, with complaints particularly prominent in Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Passaic counties.
The Attorney General's Office said that New Jersey's price gouging statute makes it illegal to set excessive price increases during a declared state of emergency or for 30 days after the termination of the state of emergency. The law defines excessive increases as any more than 10 percent higher than the price at which the merchandise was sold in the usual course of business prior to the state of emergency.
If the seller faces additional costs imposed by suppliers or logistical concerns, an excessive increase is any that is 10 percent above the normal markup from cost.
Violations are punishable by civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Each individual sale of merchandise is considered a separate and distinct event.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website, or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.
The top complaint categories are:
TRENTON - It was tough, that 12th District Democratic Primary pitting three well-known legislators against one another.Read More >
Winners and Losers: Week of September 15th WINNERS Chris Christie NBC News reported Thursday evening that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has determined after a nine-month investigation that there is 'no evidence" so far that the governor had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures...
By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor. Not only is there no current legal... Read More >
"In many ways, Fulop has embraced McGreevey’s granular-level approach to retail politics, racing around the state to raise money for congressional candidates in South Jersey one night, showing up at a Morris County Democratic Party function the next. His administration has also awarded legal work to Weiner Lesniak, the Parsippany-based firm run by state Sen. Ray Lesniak, the Union County Democratic Party power broker." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
Press releases are submitted by PolitickerNJ users, not by staff. They do not represent the viewpoint of PolitickerNJ.com.