The state of Texas has sued a Houston auctioneer after halting an auction of 750,000 medical-grade and N95 face masks, alleging price gouging in the sale of the masks used by health professionals on the front lines battling the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit filed Thursday by the Texas Attorney General’s Office alleges that an auction by Auctions Unlimited had bidding on N95 respirator masks reaching as high as $180 for a package of 16 masks. Amazon sold a set of 100 for $4.21 in late January. The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the auctions and civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the auction violated the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act. He also alleged that his office as well as police warned Auctions Unlimited owner Tim Worstell against holding the auction. “The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act expressly prohibits anyone from selling necessary items at an excessive price when a disaster is declared and, despite repeated warnings from law enforcement, that is exactly what we’ve seen Auctions Unlimited do,” Paxton said in a statement. “My office will not tolerate anyone taking advantage of Texans in need and profiting from this health crisis.” Medical staff wear “Halloween


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