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9 NJ businesses settle Sandy price gouging dispute

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — State officials say settlements have been reached with nine New Jersey businesses accused of price gouging following Superstorm Sandy.

Consumer Affairs officials say the state will get $437,538 in penalties, fees and consumer restitution under the settlements announced Wednesday. Four hotel operators and four gas stations reached agreements with the state, while a summary judgment was issued against another gas station.

Officials say the hotels and the gas stations jacked up prices following the storm. The businesses admitted no liability.

Overall, the state has now resolved 18 of the 27 lawsuits it filed against businesses alleged to have gouged prices during Sandy’s state of emergency. More than 2,000 consumer complaints about price gouging were filed in the days after the storm hit in October 2012.