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State attorney general warns businesses about charges

(AP) State lawyers have issued warnings to more than 100 businesses in Virginia about price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s attorney general said May 27.

Attorney General Mark Herring’s office has sent at least 114 warning letters in light of complaints on products which include toilet paper, hand sanitizer and paper towels, among other things, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Herring said at the end of March, the first month of Virginia’s state of emergency, that his office had sent 42 letters to businesses in response to price gouging complaints. Spokeswoman Charlotte Gomer said that as of May 26, Herring’s office had received more than 500 price gouging complaints from across Virginia.

Gomer said Virginia’s Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act, which prohibits businesses from charging “unconscionable prices” for “necessary goods and services” during a crisis, also requires that the complaints be kept confidential, meaning the attorney general’s office is not publicly identifying the businesses it has warned.

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