Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

July 17, 2014

Attorney General Kane announces settlement of allegations of price-gouging during Hurricane Sandy

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced a settlement with Akshay LLC, currently doing business as Rodeway Inn and formerly doing business as EconoLodge Motel, resolving allegations of price gouging during a declared state of disaster emergency in Pennsylvania related to Hurricane Sandy.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection alleges that the Allentown motel's owners, Dinesh and Anil Panwala, charged excessive prices in violation of the Pennsylvania Price Gouging Act for motel rooms during the Governor's declared state of disaster emergency, Oct. 26, 2012 until Jan. 15, 2013.

The motel allegedly rented rooms at rates in excess of 20 percent of the average price of rooms rented seven days prior to the declaration. During the course of the investigation, the Bureau of Consumer Protection uncovered 120 instances of alleged price gouging by the motel owners. 

As part of the settlement, the motel and its owners will refrain from violating Pennsylvania's Consumer Protection Law and the Price Gouging Act in the future and pay total restitution of $10,042 to eligible consumers, as well as civil penalties to the Commonwealth.

Consumers who believe they are victims of these business practices can call the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555 or file a complaint online at www.attorneygeneral.gov.

The legal action was filed in the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas by Deputy Attorney General Saverio P. Mirarchi.

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