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N.Y. Goes After Hurricane Profiteers

The New York Attorney General's Office today announced an investigation into price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.The office has received "hundreds" of complaints from consumers across the state, with the largest number being about gas prices.

Before the storm hit, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman warned vendors not to take advantage of the potential market disruptions Sandy could bring by inflating the prices for essentials such as food, water, gas generators, batteries, and flashlights.

"Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging," said Schneiderman in today's press release. "We are actively investigating hundreds of complaints ... and will do everything we can to stop unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives."

Consumer complaints have come from New York City, the Hudson Valley, and Long Island. High gasoline prices have been the focus of most complaints, but the rise in hotel room rates because of reported high demand has also gotten the attention of the attorney general.

New York has a price gouging law prohibiting vendors from selling goods or services for an "unconscionably excessive price" during an "abnormal disruption of the market."

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