A buck at any cost: price gouging for Irma



In this panoramic view, empty shelves show the depleted supply of bottled water at the Whole Foods store in Winter Park, Fla., as residents prepare for Hurricane Irma on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

By Kasie Strickland | The Easley Progress, S.C.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that the state’s law against price gouging is now in effect following Gov. Henry McMaster’s declared state of emergency in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irma.

According to SC §39-5-145, the price gouging law is a general prohibition of unconscionable prices during times of disaster.

Wilson stated the law is in effect until the state of emergency expires or is lifted.


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

“With the possibility that Hurricane Irma could make landfall in South Carolina, our people have already started making preparations,” said Wilson. “We can expect normal price increases, but we may see businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of food, gasoline, lodging and other commodities as defined by the statute. By our law, that’s a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice.”


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