75E-5. Civil penalties.

In any suit instituted by the Attorney General in which the defendant is found to have violated G.S. 75E-2, the court may, in its discretion, impose a civil penalty against the defendant of not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for each violation; provided that, if the court shall determine that such violation was willful, it may in its discretion treble such penalty; provided, further, that in either of the foregoing circumstances, the court may in its discretion award to the Attorney General costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. The clear proceeds of any penalty assessed pursuant to this section shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2. (1991, c. 440, s. 1; 1998-215, s. 105.)