15 dollars per gallon for gas during Dorian? SC Attorney General warns of potential price gouging

Attorney General Alan Wilson
Attorney General Alan Wilson
Published: Sep. 4, 2019 at 4:46 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - As Hurricane Dorian makes its way toward South Carolina’s coast- the state’s top law enforcement officer is warning of possible price gouging in the aftermath.

Attorney General Alan Wilson held a press conference today to remind the public about the states price gouging law that will go into effect as Hurricane Dorian approaches South Carolina.

The attorney general says anyone caught selling items like gas, food, and water for extreme amounts could be subject to criminal prosecution.

Wilson says price gouging is a misdemeanor offense, with a fine of 1000 dollars for each offense and a possible jail sentence of 30 days.

The AG said people can submit examples of price gouging online but says it is important to make sure to offer a detailed description and proof of where it happened, and the Attorney General’s office will investigate.

Wilson said it’s important to note there is a difference between natural price hikes based on market demand and egregious price gouging. He promises the latter will not be tolerated.

“In years past we’ve had situations that were major red flags,” Wilson said. “One gas station was offering gas for $2.50, and I’m using round numbers...another gas station literally a block away was offering a gallon of gas for $10-$15 per gallon. That would be unconscionable.”

While Wilson says the majority of business owners charge legitimate prices, unfortunately, there are a few who will try to take advantage of an unfortunate situation.

The website to submit a price-gouging complaint is www.scag.gov, the email is pricegouging@scag.gov, and the price gouging hotline is 803-737-3953.

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