More Than 100 Complaints of Price Gouging in New Jersey After Hurricane Sandy
New Jersey officials say investigators are looking into around 100 complaints of price gouging at gas stations, hotels and other stores that sell necessities to storm victims. Judge Andrew Napolitano said on Studio B today that businesses caught by investigators unfairly raising prices are fined heavily. If the person fined wants to appeal the decision, they have to go to an appeals court with no jury.
The judge cited a past example of the severity of the fines. In New Jersey, a gas station was fined $50,000 dollars for raising gas prices more than 10 percent for one day. The owner couldn’t pay the fine, so the government took over the station, which then sold it to the oil company.
Judge Napolitano said, “That’s a very, very stiff fine which probably didn’t have the consequence that the state intended.
But Governor Christie is serious and has dispatched a lot of inspectors to make sure this doesn’t happen.”
Not every situation is clear cut. For instance, there were bodegas selling what is normally one dollar coffee for three dollars. However, they had to use bottled water which raised the price it takes to make the coffee, plus what profit they calculate into it.