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Bergen County Hotel to Pay $110K in Post-Sandy Price Gouging Suit, Authorities Say

Officials say the Route 17 hotel overcharged its customers 473 times during the 12 days after Superstorm Sandy.

A Bergen County hotel has agreed to pay $110,000 to resolve a state lawsuit alleging that it price gouged guests in the days after Hurricane Sandy.

The Comfort Suites of Mahwah on Route 17 agreed to pay $17,449 to customers the state says it unlawfully overcharged in the 12 days after Superstorm Sandy and $44,941 to cover the state's investigative and legal fees in the case, as well as civil penalties, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs announced in a release Monday.

The hotel allegedly price gouged 473 times during the aftermath of Sandy, Hoffman said. In some cases, the state said the hotel charged more than a $100 increase for a one night stay.

This case is one of 22 resolved so far across the state, which has seen hotels pay out over $1 million in civil penalties, consumer restitution, and the reimbursement of fees and investigative costs for alleged Sandy-related offenses, Hoffman said.

“By now, the businesses that sought to take advantage of this natural disaster have learned that we are relentless in protecting consumers and enforcing the law,” Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee said in the release.

“With recoveries now totaling more than $1 million, these actions should serve as a strong deterrent to price gougers in the future.”

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