Home » State Prosecutors Settle Allegations Of Price Gouging With Smart & Final

State Prosecutors Settle Allegations Of Price Gouging With Smart & Final

by CLAYCORD.com
28 comments

The grocer Smart and Final has agreed to pay $175,000 in penalties to settle allegations of price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic, state prosecutors said Tuesday.

The Commerce, Calif.-based retailer, with stores in the Bay Area, allegedly gouged consumers by raising the price of eggs more than what was allowed by law following an emergency declaration by the governor triggering price gouging protections.

Prosecutors said Smart and Final elevated prices above the allowable limits on four premium egg products between March 4, 2020, and June 22, 2020.

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“It is unacceptable to take advantage of hardworking families” during times of crisis, Attorney General Rob Bonta said.

He said this settlement should serve as a warning to other grocers.

California law makes it illegal during the 30 days following an emergency declaration to raise prices on goods and necessities like food by more than 10 percent above what they were immediately before the declaration unless the increase reflects increased supply or labor and production costs.

Some prices were as high as 25 percent above pre-emergency prices, Bonta said. He said the gouging occurred throughout Smart and Final’s chain of stores.

The company operates stores in California, Arizona and Nevada and in Northern Mexico under a joint venture, according to the company’s website.

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared an emergency on March 4, 2020, and extended it by five months on April 3, 2020, according to the attorney general’s office.

The investigation by state prosecutors alleges that Smart and Final sold more than 100,000 cartons of eggs at illegal prices while price gouging protections were in place.

Other price-gouging investigations are underway, Bonta said. He could not go into details.

Officials from Smart and Final did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

28 comments

MikeT April 6, 2022 - 2:08 PM

So once again, a company allegedly steels from the public, receives a fine, and the people from whom the money was stolen, receive nothing from the fine, but the government, who had no skin in the game, gets it all. Sure, that’s fair…….not!

Steve April 6, 2022 - 3:35 PM

Good point.

jprcards April 6, 2022 - 7:16 PM
Jojo The Circus Clown April 6, 2022 - 8:41 PM
Tsa April 6, 2022 - 2:32 PM

“It is unacceptable to take advantage of hardworking families” during times of crisis, says AG Rob Bonita. Yet the State of California does this exact thing by its exorbitant taxes, government corruption and waste.

Politicians are nothing but narcissistic hypocrites. Time for a positive change, get rid of those currently in office next election! Take the blinders off and see the light!

Anonymous April 6, 2022 - 5:12 PM

And shutting down tens of thousands of small businesses, putting many permanently out of business, destroying lives and retirements in the process, is not “taking advantage of hardworking families?”

Or forcing people out of work for extended periods of time, while people who worked for the state and county never missed a day of work or a day’s pay, is not “taking advantage of hardworking families?”

Glen223 April 8, 2022 - 5:02 AM

Yet the politicians have “promised” to look into the gas prices for years, and they haven’t done $hit.

Lying hypocrites!

Dawg April 6, 2022 - 2:34 PM

A dozen eggs are a buck and a quarter at Dollar Tree.

nytemuvr April 6, 2022 - 4:43 PM

@Dawg…. They should be just a dollar, it’s the Dollar Tree not the “Dollar and a Quarter Tree”…..just sayin’.

Captain Bebops April 7, 2022 - 9:25 AM

I don’t think I’ve seen any eggs at Dollar Tree and they don’t list any online. Maybe it was a dozen mock chocolate eggs for Easter. 😄

Concord Grape April 6, 2022 - 2:42 PM

Price gouging, isn’t that normal business practice?

Ricardoh April 6, 2022 - 3:29 PM

You don’t understand the eggs were from thoroughbred chickens. On top of that the chickens were free range so the eggs had to be hunted down.

Wouldn’t a better plan be to deduct how much was overcharged from the now egg price rather than paying the state.

ChuckStir April 6, 2022 - 3:31 PM

Alex, I will take Guess Where I Won’t Shop Anymore for $500.00

Bay point buccaneer April 6, 2022 - 3:51 PM

Poor smart&final the only ones taking the fall . Everyone’s doing it these days. From McDonald’s to Costco. Especially the gas stations if we only get 3% from russia it’s obvious now someone’s lying.

Dr Jellyfinger April 6, 2022 - 7:30 PM

Oh yeah… it isn’t just Fart n’ Smile, Raley’s has almost doubled the price of eggs & some other items too!

Addlepate April 6, 2022 - 4:26 PM

My usual comment on these fines for price gouging:

Then why does the government raise the tolls on the 680 Fastrak lane during the morning and evening heavy commute times. Hypocrites.

Cellophane April 6, 2022 - 4:58 PM

A small fine of $175K does not conclude that Smart and Final was guilty.

It’s more like, I’ll pay you money to leave me alone.

I’m not at all sure Smart and Final is guilty of any wrongdoing.

I am guessing that a couple of complaints came in and some paper pusher saw a chance to pick up some spare spending money.

WC April 6, 2022 - 6:32 PM

Meanwhile, Bonta ignores gasoline prices.

Glen223 April 6, 2022 - 8:21 PM

Of course – the oil companies donate to his political campaigns.

jprcards April 6, 2022 - 7:16 PM

Why in the world should the state be the beneficiary of this ruling? It wasn’t “the state” that purchased eggs that were highly overpriced, it was everyday people.

Make Smart and Final sell their eggs at a greatly discounted price until their “penalty” is paid off.

Yoyohop April 6, 2022 - 7:21 PM

So can we sue the government for the price of gas – it having nearly doubled because of Biden’s proxy war against Russia?

Bad Nombre April 6, 2022 - 10:41 PM

Who buys eggs from Smart & Final?

What a waste of time!

Jojo The Circus Clown April 7, 2022 - 2:51 AM

Would love to see Jesse Ventura come back with a show called “Corporations Gone Wild” … getting wayyyy out of control these days.

Tired April 7, 2022 - 6:09 AM

Right?

Jeff (the other one) April 7, 2022 - 6:19 AM

“raising the price of eggs more than what was allowed ” so our beneficious rulers are regulating how much a company can charge for eggs? Oh yes, emergency measures, convenient reason for despot wannabes to flex their power further.

Schmee April 7, 2022 - 8:50 AM

A pack of skittles cost 30% more at smart and final over dollar general.

The Fearless Spectator April 7, 2022 - 9:40 AM

Great work. Now how about taking a look at the billions in unemployment fraud which hurt all of us far more.

AUnt Barbara April 7, 2022 - 11:46 AM

Dollar Tree is now 1.25 for all items. People are walking away and a mentally
deficient manager yells loudly at employee in front of customers, that SHE will get fired for too many voids.when the people get mad and leave
I’m sure the employees get 1.25 an hour also. judging by the manager outburst…

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