Pennsylvania AG sues company over $800k for price gouging hand sanitizer

A box of tissues and a bottle of Purrell hand sanitizer sit on the desk. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office has sued a Philadelphia company for more than $800K following accusations of price gouging hand sanitizer during the state's disaster declaration.

AG Josh Shapiro announced Thursday that his office investigated claims in March that M&B Multi Services Inc. was charging "unlawful prices" for Purell brand hand sanitizer shortly after Gov. Tom Wolf signed a coronavirus disaster declaration.

“It’s illegal to rip off Pennsylvanians during a pandemic, and we’re holding price gougers accountable,” Shapiro said. “During a time when millions are out of work and millions more are struggling to pay for food and medicine, playing off people’s fears to rip them off is wrong, and illegal."


The Bureau of Consumer Protection learned that M&B sold nearly 50 8oz bottles of Purell Advanced Formula Green Certified Hand Sanitizer on their Amazon store for $75.80. Investigators claim M&B also sold more than 30 bottles for $65.80. Officials fear the company may have charged unlawfully high prices for hand sanitizer on their website or at their brick and mortar location.

Under the Price Gouging Act, officials say a price increase of more than 20 percent during a declared state of emergency is considered price gouging. The lawsuit asks prosecutors to order M&B to pay restitution to consumers and civil penalties of $10,000 per violation.


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