Bloomberg Law
April 22, 2020, 4:02 PM

ANALYSIS: Feds Seize PPE Using Unlitigated Hoarding Statute

Eleanor Tyler
Eleanor Tyler
Legal Analyst

Federal law lacks an explicit statute against price gouging, which is the subject of a patchwork of state laws. However, the Department of Justice has developed a task force against hoarding and price gouging, and has begun seizing medical supplies and investigating cases.

Based on communications from the Department of Justice, the task force is using a federal hoarding law that enforcement agencies may use as a back door to punish price gouging. That statute, however, is virtually unlitigated, meaning there is little for legal counsel to tell businesses that legitimately need to source scarce materials about what is permissible ...

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