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Moody issues subpoenas in price gouging investigations

AG cracking down on price gouging

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Tuesday that 65 subpoenas have been issued in investigations into price gouging on high-demand items amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moody said the information was largely based on hundreds of tips provided by consumers. No details were available about the locations of the investigations.

“The reason why we need information, and the reason why we ask the community to help us is because we need to stop and go after these bad actors,” Moody told The News Service of Florida.

Moody activated the state price-gouging hotline on March 10, after Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency because of the spread of the respiratory disease.

Items covered by Florida’s price-gouging law under the state of emergency include protective masks, sanitizing and disinfecting supplies, commercial cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment and COVID-19 test kits.

Moody’s office has contacted merchants about allegations of price gouging and gotten online platforms to deactivate more than 160 posts offering items at inflated prices.

“In most cases, people and businesses are working with our office and trying to remedy this situation,” Moody said. “But, as you know, we have already issued numerous subpoenas. We will continue to do so, so that we can further our investigations.”