SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – As residents fix broken pipes and make other home repairs following the February winter storm, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins is warning of price gouging. Price gouging is prohibited during a disaster by Louisiana law.
“It is illegal for the price of goods or services sold within a designated emergency area to exceed what is ordinarily charged for comparable goods and services,” Perkins said, adding that the City of Shreveport is committed to combating an attempts to exploit residents who are trying to get the services needed to restore their homes.
When a State of Emergency is declared by the governor or local leadership, a price gouging ban is placed on the area and may remain in effect for up to 30 days following the initial declaration.
And there are penalties for violating a price-gouging ban. A conviction of the criminal violation could result in a fine $500, 6-months imprisonment, or both.
If serious bodily injury or property damage of more than $5,000 can result in a felony conviction, which carries with it a sentence of up to five years in prison an imprisonment at hard labor for up to 5 years. When such activity results in death, a conviction carries with it a prison sentence of up to 21 years.
Anyone who suspects price gouging is asked to call the Shreveport Police Department non-emergency number at 673-7300 and fill out a Consumer Dispute Form with the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General.