LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV) – When Kansas’ governor declared a state of emergency on Thursday due to the coronavirus outbreak, it enabled the state’s anti-profiteering statute.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt said, “The Kansas anti-profiteering statute is rarely invoked but is designed to prevent opportunistic greed from overcoming the public need for necessary virus-response products and services during this time of emergency. We take the law’s requirements seriously and will diligently investigate complaints and vigorously prosecute any violations.”
Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson added, “This law prohibits unjustifiably raising prices for goods and services that consumers would likely demand due to this pandemic.”
Any price increase for such goods and services that increases 25% or more from what they cost on March 11, or what is available from other sellers in the trade area, is considered a price increase.
The penalty for a violation is up to $10,000 per offense.
The Attorney General’s office provided examples of those violations. They include but are not limited to: Food items, sanitizing and cleaning supplies such as hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, emergency supplies, medical supplies and services, lodging, and any other property or service for which consumer demand may increase in response to the virus outbreak.
Thompson’s office, as well as other county and district attorney offices, can file a complaint.
If you have information about price gouging, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division online at www.InYourCornerKansas.org or call 800-432-2310 to request a paper complaint form be sent in the mail.