Orange City Man Agrees To $4000 Penalty For Alleged COVID Price Gouging

Orange City, Iowa — An Orange City man has agreed to a settlement with the State of Iowa for alleged price gouging.

The lawsuit accused Michael Evan Noteboom of charging excessive prices for some 250 items that were in short supply at the beginning of the pandemic. Attorney General spokesman Lynn Hicks says in one case Noteboom was selling a 12-count package of paper towels for $119.99. He was selling a 12-ounce can of Lysol for $65.99, and a 12-pack of toilet paper for 86 dollars among many other examples. Hicks says they first asked Noteboom to stop selling the items at those prices, but he persisted, so a cease and desist letter was sent. After they still failed to receive a response, they filed a lawsuit Hicks says.

In a consent judgment and order filed earlier this month, a judge ruled that Noteboom is prohibited from selling or buying items needed by COVID victims online unless they are for his own use. The types of items are listed in the order. There are also several other stipulations, plus Noteboom was ordered to pay $4000 to the Iowa Attorney General, of which $2000 is to be allocated as a civil penalty.

However, the judgment and order does say that Noteboom denies he violated the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act and Iowa Price Gouging Rule, but to end the matter and avoid protracted litigation, he agreed to the judgment.

A trial in a similar case against Noteboom’s sister Brenda Noteboom for alleged similar offenses is scheduled for October in Orange City.

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