Michael James, USA TODAY Published 12:21 a.m. ET March 27, 2020 | Updated 11:56 a.m. ET March 27, 2020CLOSE The coronavirus pandemic has caused toilet paper shortages and long lines, but panic buying is not a new phenomenon and it certainly isn’t helping. USA TODAYThe Texas attorney general is accusing an auctioneer of price-gouging disinfectant wipes, hand soaps, and 750,000 high-quality face masks — all items that are heavily sought after by consumers during the COVID-19 crisis.”On March 24, bidding on N95 respirator masks pushed listings as high as $180 for a package of just 16 masks,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on the agency’s web site. “Auctions Unlimited owner Tim Worstell admitted to receiving warnings from both local police and the Texas Attorney General; however, he moved forward with the exorbitantly priced auctions.”The attorney general filed a lawsuit to stop Auctions Unlimited LLC from price gouging Texans for necessary health-related supplies. The recent auction “listed items necessary to combat the spread of the virus COVID-19,” according to the lawsuit. Texas authorities halted the auction before the 750,000 face masks were sold. But in court papers, Paxton cited a recent Chicago Tribune article that said the auction still netted about $154,000 in sales and

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