Attorneys General prosecuting price gouging cases

(WIBW) -- People have logged more than a hundred complaints of price gouging with Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt since the state's COVID-19 emergency started. He says some already are referred to local prosecutors.

"The price gouging law is designed to prohibit profiteering from a disaster by unjustifiably raising prices of goods and services needed by the public," Schmidt said. "We are reviewing every complaint and investigating those that show a possible violation of the law."

US Attorney General William Barr told the Gray Washington Bureau that price gouging and hoarding disrupts the supply chain. He says he will prosecute, and that it is a felony for good reason.

“If there is any real hoarding going on or price gouging, it's keeping these essential supplies away from the people who really need them right now, and therefore, it's endangering the community,” Barr said. “Why the president put out an executive order that prohibits hoarding and prohibits hoarding for the purpose of price gouging.”

Kansas law defines price gouging as charging 25 percent more than an item cost before the emergency, or what others are charging.