Lynchburg, VA - We've gotten a lot of calls into the ABC 13 Newsroom from viewers concerned about price gouging going on during storm recovery.
We contacted the Attorney General's office about the situation. While they can't discuss specific investigations right now, they sent us this information on state law:
The Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act is found at Virginia Code §§ 59.1-525 through 59.1-529.1.
This statute is triggered when either the governor or the president declares a state of emergency covering parts of Virginia. The price gouging statute requires the Virginia attorney general and other enforcement agencies to consider whether post-disaster prices of a supplier grossly exceed the prices the supplier charged for the same goods or services during the ten days immediately prior to the disaster. The law also requires consideration of whether the increased costs are attributable solely to the increased costs of the supplier.
When the statute is activated by the declaration of a state of emergency, citizens can file a price gouging complaint with our office when it concerns any "necessary goods or services" other than motor fuels, and can file with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Weights and Measures, concerning motor fuels.
If you have a complaint, you can contact the attorney general's office at 800-552-9963. You can also file a complaint on their website.