Ten more New Jersey businesses are facing lawsuits for alleged price gouging, it was announced Wednesday. Governor Chris Christie, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa, and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs announced the state’s second round of price gouging lawsuits against seven hotels and three gas stations accused of illegally overcharging consumers during the Hurricane Sandy state of emergency.
Collectively the hotels are accused of committing more than 1,000 instances of price gouging some charging more than 200 times their normal rates. Violations of New Jersey’s price gouging statute are subject to penalties of up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $20,000 for each subsequent offense. Under the law, each individual sale is considered a separate and distinct event or offense . Meaning, all of the businesses charged in this latest round face substantial penalties for their alleged actions. “The last thing people put out of their homes in a natural disaster should have to confront is price gouging from unscrupulous profiteers,” said Governor Christie. “It’s illegal, offensive and completely opposite the spirit of cooperation we saw just about everywhere else in our state in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I encourage more of the same treatment from the Attorney General for any other instances of price gouging he discovers.”
APK Towing, which is under investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office for price gouging and towing cars off private property in Seaside Heights, was not listed among the businesses facing lawsuits. However, a rep for Consumer Affairs says that doesn’t mean it’s off the table, just that the investigation against the Toms River based tow company continues. “The APK case is ongoing. I’ll certainly let you know if we have any actions against APK,” Jeff Lamm tells rootshed.com.
The Division of Consumer Affairs has received more than 2,000 consumer complaints since Governor Christie declared a state of emergency on October 27 – an unprecedented number in such a short period of time.
ALL STORIES RELATED TO POST-SANDY APK TOWING ISSUES:
- Seaside Heights mayor breaks silence on APK Towing accusations
- APK Towing returns impounded vehicles to Seaside Heights residents for free
- APK Towing employee fired over Seaside Heights billing ‘mistakes’ post-Sandy
- Video shows heavy police activity at APK Towing; Computer confiscated
- Tow company offers free tows to APK Towing victims in Seaside Heights
- APK Towing admits price gouging in Seaside Heights; Sets flat rate and refunds
- Seaside Heights: APK Towing lot now an active crime scene
- Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office seeks APK towing victims in Seaside Heights
- Seaside Heights police launch investigation into APK towing
- Seaside Heights-approved towing company APK accused of ripping off Sandy victims