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Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari's Bill to Combat Organized Retail Crime Approved by General Assembly

The legislation now heads to the governor
March 30, 2022
Republican Newsroom

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Ohio House Bill 272 championed by State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) passed the General Assembly Wednesday after a 33-0 vote in Senate. The legislation, jointly sponsored by State Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), requires high-volume, third-party online sellers to disclose certain pieces of identifying information in order to protect consumers. 

“This is a big win for consumers across Wood County and our state,” Ghanbari said. “I look forward for its favorable review by Governor DeWine and his signature on this key legislation that will protect our fellow Ohioans from those who prey.”

Specifically, the bill defines a high-volume third-party seller as a participant in an online marketplace that, in any continuous 12-month period in the previous 24 months has entered into at least 200 discreet sales for new or unused consumer goods resulting in at least $5,000 of gross revenue. The required identifying information for sellers on product listings would include details such as name, email address, or business tax I.D. number and would further require the online marketplace to verify such information within ten days of the seller qualifying as high volume.

Ghanbari notes having this information available will allow consumers to be able to contact these sellers if necessary. Additionally, the bill allows the attorney general to adopt rules to enforce the bill’s provisions. 

“I am grateful for the steadfast commitment of our law enforcement officers and their efforts to halt organized retail crime rings negatively impacting our communities,” Ghanbari said. “Here in Ohio, we are sending a distinct message to these criminals of their need to pursue a different career. In Ohio, we won’t accept criminals taking advantage of our fellow citizens.”

Additionally, the bill will help combat organized crime as Ghanbari identified that crime rings find a source of revenue through the online selling of stolen or counterfeit goods. The legislation was recently highlighted by NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt as they did an in-depth story on the issue and Ghanbari’s efforts to bring the legislation to fruition.