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N.J. sues for Sandy price gouging

Nov. 9, 2012 at 4:23 PM

TRENTON, N.J., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa Friday said the state will sue eight companies for price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Chiesa cited seven gas stations and one motel: Kistruga Inc. in Paterson; C.S. George and Sons in Clifton; Alen Service Corp. in Newark; Vinny Fuel Corp. in Bloomfield; Perth Amboy NJPO, S&D LLC in Lyndhurst; Couto and Sons in Newark; and Ratana Hospitality Group (Howard Johnson) in Parsippany.

"The fact that we have these fringe businesses that think that disasters are a profit center is troubling," The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger quoted Chiesa as saying. "If you try to do this, we're going to be on top of it."

State law prohibits boosting prices during a declared emergency and for a month after. The companies being cited imposed price increases of 17 percent to 59 percent, the attorney general's office said.

The office said it had received 2,000 complaints and Chiesa promised more suits would be filed. So far, 170 subpoenas had been issued, 83 percent of them to gas stations.

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