AUSTIN, Tex (KBTX)- Price gouging has been a huge issue since the COVID-19 outbreak. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is stopping one company from price gouging Texans for necessary, health-related supplies.
On Mar. 24, Auctions Unlimited LLC had a listing that reached $180 for a package of only 16 N95 respirator masks. The owner, Tim Worstell, had received warnings from both the local police and the Attorney General about the price gouging auctions but decided to move forward with them.
Following Governor Abbott's disaster declaration, Auctions Unlimited listed an auction on its website for over 750,000 face masks, N95 particulate respirators, hand soap, all-purpose cleaner, and disinfectant wipes.
In response to the exorbitantly priced auctions, the Paxton has filed a lawsuit against Auctions Unlimited.
“The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act expressly prohibits anyone from selling necessary items at an excessive price when a disaster is declared and, despite repeated warnings from law enforcement, that is exactly what we’ve seen Auctions Unlimited do,” said Attorney General Paxton. “My office will not tolerate anyone taking advantage of Texans in need and profiting from this health crisis.”
Price gouging is illegal and individuals guilty of price gouging are required to pay back consumers and may be held liable for up to $10,000 per violation with an additional $250,000 if the victims are elderly.
Texans who believe they have encountered price gouging should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online. You can find the link here.