Oklahoma Tornado Price Gouging: Business Accused Of Charging $40 For Case Of Bottled Water

Nathan Francis

A business in Oklahoma is accused of taking advantage of victims of Monday's tornado by jacking up the price of a case of water to $40.

The business is one of many being investigated by the Oklahoma Attorney General for price-gouging in the wake of the tornado that ripped through Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt told ABC News that investigators begun aggressively searching for instances of fraud just hours after the tornado struck. The investigators are citing what is known as the Emergency Price Stabilization Act, which was actually passed after a tornado passed through Moore in 1999.

That tornado was the strongest ever recorded and led to a law that prohibits price increases of more than 10 percent within a month of a disaster.

"This is something we were putting in place and starting in motion as soon as we knew the threat existed," Pruitt said. "We're going to places where we think potential harm could occur."

His team is fielding tips from citizens and others in the area with the hopes that publicizing the efforts will deter others from gouging prices in the wake of the tornado.

Cleanup and recovery efforts are still going on in Moore, days after the tornado struck. The death toll stands at 24, though officials said it could still rise if other victims are found.

Meteorologists said the tornado may have been the worst ever. Though it does not rank as the biggest circumference, wind speed, or duration of all time, its combination of these factors could make the Oklahoma tornado the strongest ever. A meteorologist for the local news station KFOR called it "the worst tornado in the history of the world."

The store charging $40 for a case of bottled water wasn't the only case investigators have found, Pruitt said. His team is also looking into a hotel allegedly overcharging for rooms.