SC attorney general warns price gouging statute in effect after pipeline disruption

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 12:49 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said the state’s price gouging statute is in effect following a shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

Wilson said the price gouging law took effect after he declared an abnormal disruption in the market following the hacking of the pipeline.

“I’m urging everyone to be careful and be patient,” Wilson said. “We hope this gas shortage will last just a few days, but we must be wary of individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging. According to state law, price gouging constitutes a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice.”

Drivers are asked notify the Wilson’s office immediately if they believe they have witnessed or are aware of price gouging.

Examples or documentation of gouging can be sent to, or entered into a form at the Attorney General’s website. Concerned citizens can also call 803-737-3953 if they have witnessed a likely violation, Wilson said.

The price gouging law is a general prohibition of unconscionable prices during times of disaster.

Wilson says price gougers can be charged for excessive pricing, a misdemeanor offense punishable with a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.

The full price gouging statute can be viewed on the South Carolina State House website.

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