S.C. Attorney General assigns possible price gouging cases to local solicitors

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FILE – In this Feb. 28, 2020 file photo, rows of hand sanitizer are seen empty at a Walgreens in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Fear of the coronavirus has led people to stock up on hand sanitizer, leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with sky-high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, file)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has received over 650 complaints for price gouging since Governor McMaster declared a state of emergency.

The most common complaint logged has been price spikes in hand sanitizer, sanitation wipes, cleaning sprays, toilet paper, masks, and food, especially meat and eggs.

Immediate action is being taken on this issue. Wilson has assigned potential price gouging cases to local solicitors around the state to be able to review them and assign them to local law enforcement to investigate as needed and then possibly prosecute.

South Carolina law (S.C. Code Section 39-5-145) defines price gouging as a “gross disparity” between the average price. Violating the state price gouging law is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine up to $1,000, 30 days in jail, or both.

Wilson stated “We want to get moving on these as soon as possible to get the word out that we are investigating these price gouging complaints and will prosecute the businesses and individuals that violate the law.”

The Attorney General’s Office is encouraging everyone to continue to report potential price gouging cases when they see them. To report them, you can email them to pricegouging@scag.gov, or go to their website at www.scag.gov.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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