The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection announced that it has sued three more retailers for violating the City's pricing gouging regulations.
The latest cases, against Key Food, Flannery Home Center, and New West End Superette, charge the retailers with selling face masks, bleach, disinfectant wipes, and other products at drastically increased prices -- for example, a business charging a consumer $27.99 for an 8 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer. The DCWP said that it sued these retailers because they were found to be repeat offenders.
DCWP said that it is actively inspecting stores based on consumer complaints -- and that retailers that are found to be overcharging consumers 10 percent or more for any personal or household good or service that is needed to prevent or limit the spread of or treat COVID-19 will be issued a violation. Since March 5th, DCWP has issued more than 4,400 violations for price gouging.
In a statement, DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas said, "Price gouging is not just immoral – it is illegal. We will not tolerate price gouging and it is shameful for businesses to take advantage of consumers during a public health crisis."
"Price gouging is not just immoral – it is illegal" -- NYC DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas