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Texas Attorney General Receives Hundreds Of Price Gouging Complaints Over Harvey

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Marcus Griffin
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Price gouging in Houston

With agents in the field from Corpus Christi to Houston, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has one message for price gougers, “Beware, we will find you.”  

According to state law, price gouging is when consumer items of necessity – food, water, lodging and medicine – are being sold above market value prices in any county declared a disaster by the governor.

Paxton says since Harvey made landfall, his office and agents in the field have received hundreds of calls about price gouging.

“We’ve had over 500 complaints, what’s nice today is people can send us pictures, they can send us email, people are becoming aware of the issue.  And so we’ve had issues with people overcharging water significantly," Paxton says.

The AG’s Office reports the price for a case of water fluctuates from $30 to $90 in some parts of Southeast Texas.

Paxton says with accessibility of smartphones, his office has also received videos from people like mechanic Marcus Griffin who witnessed price gouging in his own Houston neighborhood.

“Hey, I’m going to show you why nobody out here has no water, they out here buying up all the water and then selling it for 500% more, people out here struggling for water," Griffin says during the video.

The Attorney General says once the storm has cleared the State and rebuilding begins, his office will begin looking for incidents of price gouging in the roofing and restoration business.  The fine for price gouging can be as high as $20,000.