When things are in an emergency situation, the temptation for some is to make a fast buck by overcharging for goods and services. Here is a reminder –
“The Tehema County District Attorney’s Office would like to raise public awareness regarding price gouging in the light of the recent declaration of a State of Emergency by Governor Gavin Newsom.
A state of Emergency was declared by the Governor on March 4, 2020 in light of the novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.
California law prohibits businesses and individuals from raising prices for 30 days after an Emergency Declaration. Under Penal Code 396, it is illegal to charge a price for essential goods and services that is more than 10 percent higher than the price charged immediately before the emergency declaration, known as price gouging.
The law applies to hotels/motels, consumer food items, goods and services used for emergency cleanup, emergency supplies, medical supplies, home heating oil, building materials, housing, transportation, freight, storage services, gasoline and other motor fuels
Price gouging is subject to criminal prosecution and carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Violators may also face civil enforcement actions and penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, plus mandatory restitution.
At this time the Tehema County District Attorney’s Office is unaware of any reports of price gouging occurring within Tehema County: however, anyone who suspects price gouging is occurring is encouraged to contact the Tehema County District attorney’s Office, Bureau of Investigation at (530) 529-3590 to make a report.”