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Butte D.A. Warns Against Price Gouging

Disaster Emergency Law bans price hikes over 10 percent.

Posted: Nov 12, 2018 5:10 PM

  Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey is putting out another warning about price gouging during the Camp Fire Emergency.
He says that Penal Code section 396 prevents people from increasing the cost of goods, services or rents by more than ten percent from the prices before the fire.

  This includes emergency cleanup, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials, housing, transportation, freight and storage services.  Also, gasoline or motor fuels.

  Ramsey said he sent investigators out over the weekend to warn businesses of the anti-gouging law. The penalty for a conviction is up to one year in jail and a fine of $10,000 dollars.  Violators are also subject to civil penalties of up to $5,000 dollars per violation and mandatory restitution.

  Ramsey said the law generally applies for 30 days after a declaration of emergency.  For reconstruction and emergency cleanup services it's 180 days.

   If you know of a violation you are encouraged to call the District Attorney's Fraud Tip Hotline at 1-866-323-7283.

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Fire danger increases through Thursday thanks to warm, dry weather and strong winds. Next weekend we could see our first 90 degree day of the season.
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