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Oklahoma businesses accused of fraud

May 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM   |   Comments

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OKLAHOMA CITY, May 23 (UPI) -- Investigators said they have uncovered evidence of businesses committing fraud by increasing prices in areas of Oklahoma devastated by tornadoes.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt told ABC News that 30 investigators began checking for fraud in the hours after the tornado hit.

The investigators said they quickly found businesses violating the law, Pruitt said, including a grocery store that was allegedly charging $40 for a case of water.

The state law, which was passed after a tornado hit the same region years earlier, prohibits price increases of more than 10 percent on goods and services like water and hotel rooms for 30 days after a disaster.

"We're looking at everything from work gloves to water to storage units, hotels and car rentals. And long term, we'll be dealing with home construction and repair," Pruitt said.

The Attorney General's office has set up a hotline -- (405) 521-2029 -- for fraud reports.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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