Relentless heat lingers through the weekend in the Bronx; possible pop-up thunderstorms

Attorney General Letitia James, officials announce COVID-19 Fraud Accountability Act

Elected officials gathered Friday outside a Park Slope business that’s currently under investigation for allegedly lying to customers and charging them for COVID-19 tests.

News 12 Staff

Mar 4, 2022, 10:22 PM

Updated 841 days ago


Elected officials gathered Friday outside a Park Slope business that’s currently under investigation for allegedly lying to customers and charging them for COVID-19 tests. 
While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out some of the best parts of humanity, as state Sen. Zellnor Myrie has seen, it’s also brought out some of the worst. 
"Think about this for a second that in a once in a century pandemic, that there are bad actors, and there are corporations that are using our pain for profit,” said Myrie. 
Myrie, along with Attorney General Letitia James and Assembly Member Nily Rozic announced the COVID-19 Fraud Accountability Act.
The act aims at giving the AG’s office even more teeth when going after practices like price gouging on PPE and testing or false advertising on result times. 
Under current state laws, businesses found guilty of fraud only need to pay back the amount of the damages, or $5,000 maximum. 
The bill would change that, allowing the state to fine them up to three times the amount of the damages or $25,000. 
“We wanted to make the penalty per violation high enough that it would serve as a deterrent,” said Myrie. 
“It sends a strong message to bad actors out there and con artists out there who would seek to take advantage of consumers at a time when we're all experiencing a disruption in our economy,” said James. 
Officials say that if it's passed into law, they'd be able to use it in any other future crises to go after fraud there as well. 

More from News 12