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The Times
  • DA: Price gouging illegal for victims of Herkimer Co. floods

  • Law enforcement officials are warning local businesses that it is illegal to exploit the despair of the victims of the devastating floods that have swamped parts of Herkimer County.

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  • Law enforcement officials are warning local businesses that it is illegal to exploit the despair of the victims of the devastating floods that have swamped parts of Herkimer County.
    On Wednesday, Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter said he has been made aware that certain businesses in the area are engaging in “price gouging” to take advantage of local flooding victims.
    Carpenter reminded local businesses that this conduct is prohibited by state General Business Law, which allows civil penalties to be imposed against any business that charges excessive prices for essential goods during “periods of abnormal disruption.”
    “It’s unconscionable to take advantage of people who are obviously in great distress to begin with,” Carpenter said.
    This conduct will not be tolerated, Carpenter said, and all complaints will be immediately referred to the state Attorney General’s Office, which prosecutes such offenses. The maximum fine that can be imposed against any business that engages in price gouging is $25,000, Carpenter said. 
    Anyone with information regarding this conduct is urged to contact the Herkimer County District Attorney’s Office at 867-1155 or the Attorney General’s Office at 793-2225.

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