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Eight Companies Sued By N.J. For Post-Sandy Price Gouging



State law makes it illegal to boost prices excessively during a declared state of emergency or for 30 days thereafter. According to the statute, an excessive price increase is any rise of 10 percent over the normal cost for an item.

Today New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa announced the state will file lawsuits against eight companies accused of raising prices at an unfair rate to consumers, reports NJ.com.

The companies are Kistruga Inc. in Paterson; C.S. George and Sons in Clifton; Alen Service Corp. in Newark; Vinny Fuel Corporation in Bloomfield; Perth Amboy NJPO; S&D LLC in Lyndhurst; Couto and Sons in Newark; and Ratana Hospitality Group (Howard Johnson) in Parsippany.

The seven gas stations and one motel are the first businesses to be charged in Hurricane Sandy, though the AG’s office has received about 2,000 complaints and issued 170 subpoenas.

Chiesa promised more lawsuits as time goes on and warned people how to deal with potential gougers. Of the subpoenas issued, roughly 83 percent involve gas stations. Motels are the runner-up. As residents reconstruct from storm damage, Chiesa warned of charity and home improvement scams.

State law makes it illegal to boost prices excessively during a declared state of emergency or for 30 days thereafter. According to the statute, an excessive price increase is any rise of 10 percent over the normal cost for an item.

The companies charged are accused of raising prices between 17 to 59 percent, officials said.

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