Lawsuit filed against “El Centro” for price gouging

MGN Online

The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that a lawsuit has been filed against El Centro Foods in La Feria for engaging in price gouging of essential goods such as bread, milk, eggs and hand sanitizer.

The press release sent by the DA’s office said the business was warned before to stop inflating the prices of essential goods during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

“Back on March 23rd, various residents voiced concern over exorbitant prices for in demand items like bread, milk, eggs, hand sanitizer, Lysol, among others. The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office investigated, and following our findings, filed cease and desist letters against these retailers,” the press release states.  “While assurances were made that the price gouging would stop, it did not in this instance.”

The press release states last week a consumer complaint was filed and verified by the DA’s office regarding a liter of hand sanitizer being sold for $18. In response to the State’s suit, the 138th Judicial Court issued an Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order against El Centro, the press release reads.

“I want to thank the members of the public that have continued to submit concerns and the local businesses that have made necessary changes. A majority of businesses we have reached out to either justified their action was due to costs associated with distributors or modified their actions. We will not tolerate price gouging during this difficult time,” Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said in the press release.

“The law does not say a business cannot make a profit, but it is wrong and illegal for bad actors to take advantage of people in a crisis.”

The DA’s office said if you see a price that you think is overly inflated, immediately report it to Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline directly at (800) 621-0508 or go to their website at:  www.texasattorneygeneral.gov

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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