Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District), the Chairman of the Senate’s Consumer Protection Committee and a member of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, announced today that he is sponsoring legislation that would increase the maximum fine that may be imposed for price gouging.
Senator Fuschillo, who focused attention on the issue of price gouging during the recent gasoline price surge after Hurricane Katrina, is seeking to raise the maximum fine from $10,000 to a new maximum of $25,000 for those who violate New York State price gouging laws. This new fine would not be limited to gasoline retailers but would apply to any business covered by the price gouging laws of New York State.
"In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, consumers saw gasoline prices increase dramatically overnight. While some of these increases may have been the result of the catastrophe faced in the Gulf Coast, the possibility of price gouging always exists and we must make sure that consumers are protected," stated Senator Fuschillo. "Increasing the fine maximum will remove the financial incentive for gas stations to engage in price gouging and will better protect New Yorkers."
Following Hurricane Katrina, Senator Fuschillo called on Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to remain vigilant regarding the price gouging issue. The Attorney General responded to Senator Fuschillo’s request by promising to remain alert and announced a new price gouging hotline, in conjunction with the New York State Consumer Protection Board.
If you feel that you have been a victim of price gouging, the toll-free number to report incidents of price gouging is 1-800-214-4372.
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