FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A northwest Fresno liquor store was fined $10,000 by city officials Wednesday for price gouging customers over the cost of water amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Super Liquor, located on the southwest corner of Figarden Drive and Brawley Avenue, became the first business fined for violating Fresno’s emergency order, which came into effect Wednesday, said Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias.
The liquor store was reportedly price gouging over a 24 pack of water, said Miguel Arias, Fresno City Council President. They had charged different prices for the water-based on who the customer was.
“In this time of crisis, we’re not going to allow unscrupulous actors to take advantage and price gouge people — for water,” said councilmember Mike Karbassi, who represents northwest Fresno in the city council.
Arias said the business has a right to appeal the fine or set up a repayment plan with the city.
The city council president said Fresno officials have placed information warning about price gouging at more than 400 businesses across the city.
Fresno’s ordinance instituted a price and rate freeze on consumer goods and lodging facilities, which may have limited availability as a result of an emergency or disaster situation.
No person or business shall charge a price greater than 10% above prices charged for such goods as of March 4.
Officials said code enforcement is investigating 44 possible price gouging violations across Fresno.
Arias said he’s heard of price gouging complaints in other Fresno County cities like Selma, Parlier, Kingsburg, and asked those residents and others to contact the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office for price gouging reports in the county.
Any consumers concerned about price gouging in the city of Fresno can call 559-621-8400 or file a report through the FresGO app.
COVID-19 resource links:
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
- Fresno County
- Tulare County
- Madera County
- Mariposa County
- Merced County
- Kings County
- Kern County