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Red Bluff businessman arrested, charged with price gouging masks

Tehama County investigators arrested Rene Umali of Red Bluff. They say he increased his prices on N-95 masks by 400% at his store Amazing Finds at 616 Cedar Street, Red Bluff.

Posted: Aug 14, 2020 2:28 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2020 2:42 PM

RED BLUFF, Calif. - Tehama County investigators arrested Rene Umali of Red Bluff. They say he increased his prices on N-95 masks by 400% at his store Amazing Finds at 616 Cedar Street, Red Bluff. 

Officers arrested Umali Friday, Aug. 14, on charges of price gouging during a state of emergency. They're holding him on $3,000 bail. 

The investigation started back in March when someone tipped off investigators Umali raised the price of 3M N95 masks from $1 to $5.

RELATED: Investigators looking into alleged N-95 mask price gouging in Tehama County

On March 31, investigators served a search warrant at Amazing Finds and seized some 1000 masks along with Umali's business records. Those records showed the original price was around the national average before Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency. 

After that declaration, investigators say Umali increased the price by 400%. 

Investigators say if you bought an N-95 mask from Amazing Finds in the last six months call Supervisor Kevin Hale at the DA Bureau of Investigation at 530-529-3590. 

California law generally prohibits businesses from increasing prices more than 10% during a state of emergency. 

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