FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Northwest Fresno’s Super Liquor is facing a maximum fine of $10,000 for allegedly price gouging during the COVID-19 crisis.
This is the first fine given out by the city. City officials allege the store charged $16 for a 24 pack of water.
“In this time of crisis we are not going to allow unscrupulous people to gouge for water,” said Councilmember Mike Karbassi, who represents the district Super Liquors is in.
“That $10,000 fine is absolutely appropriate. We have to take bold swift action and let people know that when you go out there and shop in this crisis, you are not going to be taken advantage of no matter where you are shopping in the city of Fresno.”
Karbassi said the store was warned but continued to charge over the market price, even after the city officials placed a sign in the window stating price gouging is illegal.
In the last week, dozens of city workers have visited over 400 businesses to warn that gouging would be a costly mistake. Yet, Council President Miguel Arias recognized some businesses continue to break the law.
“We have also been taking a significant amount of complaints that we have received for price gouging,” said Arias. “Our city code enforcement is currently investigating 44 complaints.”
Price gouging is defined as charging over 10% of the original price of any item before the crisis.
The City of Fresno urged citizens who witness price gouging to call 559-621-8400 or report it on the FresnoGo app or website.