CALIFORNIA—California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has charged a Los Angeles pharmacist for price gouging KN95 masks, according to a June 18 press release.
Becerra’s charges accuse licensed pharmacist Katrin Golian of RxAll Pharmacy of violating Governor Gavin Newsom’s April 3 Executive Order N-44-20. The order prohibits business selling emergency-related items from “charging a price for the items that is greater than 50 percent more than the seller’s cost of purchase.”
The governor declared a state of emergency in the state on March 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The emergency declaration “triggered price gouging prohibitions statewide.”
The California Department of Justice conducted an investigation into the business after receiving a consumer complaint.
The initial investigation concluded that Golian was selling KN95 masks for $10 each, after purchasing them for $5. Department special agents issued a warning to Golian, who agreed to reduce the price of the masks. Days later, undercover special agents again found masks being sold for $10.
“The Department of Justice relies on all Californians to be vigilant in detecting price gouging,” said Becerra in the press release. “If you see something suspicious, or if you are a victim of price gouging, file a complaint with our office at oag.ca.gov/report. The more you report, the more we can stop this abuse.”
Becerra reminded that California law prohibits refusal or willful neglect “to obey any lawful order issued under the Emergency Services Act.”