The San Diego County District Attorney's Office said Wednesday it would pursue prosecutions of sellers overcharging for baby formula amid the ongoing national formula shortage.
Following an executive order issued Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom that prohibits sellers from charging more than 10% over what they charged for formula on Feb. 17, the DA's Office says the path has been cleared to pursue criminal charges against price gougers.
"We want county residents to know that we stand ready to protect their consumer rights under the law and we won't let people looking to cash in by taking advantage of families in need," San Diego County District Attorney District Attorney Summer Stephan said.
"We take violations related to price gouging very seriously and encourage consumers to report suspected price hikes that they believe may be illegal."
Those who violate the order could face up to six months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine, as well as civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation, injunctive relief, and mandatory restitution.
The DA's Office urged members of the public to report suspected price gouging to the District Attorney's Consumer Protection Unit at 619-531-3507 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.