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State drops price gouging charges against hotel owners


VICKSBURG — The Mississippi attorney general’s office has dropped charges against the owners of a Vicksburg hotel who had been accused of price gouging during a state of emergency.


Jan Schaefer, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Jim Hood, tells the Vicksburg Post there was not enough evidence to pursue the charges.


Devenora V. Patel and his son-in-law, Hemel Ramesh Surati, were accused of charging too much for rooms during a state of emergency declared in August because of Hurricane Isaac.


Hood had said Patel and Surati had charged more than their usual profit margin for hotel rooms. The men had denied the charges.


Mississippi’s price gouging law prevents a merchant from increasing the average profit margin on products until a state of emergency executive order is lifted.



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