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Fontana Police arrest man for price gouging amid coronavirus pandemic

FONTANA, Calif. ( — As the world continues to face the coronavirus pandemic there are people trying to make a quick buck off others’ fears and anxieties.

Earlier this week the Fontana Police Department announced the arrest of Jose Carreto, a 51-year-old man for price gouging.

‘When the governor declares a state of emergency, a price gouging statute kicks in. The law generally prohibits charging a price that is more than 10% what an item cost before the state (or local) declaration of emergency,” stated the agency in a Facebook post.

Fontana Police officials said they are actively monitoring different social media platforms along with local businesses to protect their citizens from any price gouging.

Price gouging is raising the price of something that is in demand to an unreasonable level. The state of CA has laws in place that protect people against this illegal practice.

Attorney General Becerra reminds all Californians that, under Penal Code Section 396, price gouging is illegal in all California communities during the declared state of emergency.

  • California law generally prohibits charging a price that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price of an item before a state or local declaration of emergency.
  • This law applies to the prices of certain goods or services when a declared state of emergency results in disruptions of the market, including with respect to food, emergency and medical supplies, and other consumer goods.
  • Exceptions to this prohibition exist if, for example, the price of labor, goods or materials has increased for the business.

Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to criminal prosecution that can result in a one-year imprisonment in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Violators are also subject to civil enforcement actions including civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation, injunctive relief, and mandatory restitution.

Remember we’re all in this together please stay safe!

Fontana Police Price Gouging Arrest Coronavirus
(Photo: City of Fontana Police Department)
Fontana Police Price Gouging Arrest Coronavirus
(Photo: City of Fontana Police Department)

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