(a) Any person that violates any provision of this chapter is liable civilly in the sum of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) or more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each and every violation. This sum shall be recovered in an action by the secretary in any court of competent jurisdiction. All sums which are recovered pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the Department of Food and Agriculture Fund.
(b) For a violation of the offense described in subdivision (a), the department may recover investigative costs, excluding attorneys fees and administrative overhead, for those charges where there has been a conviction in a court of law, or a court-supervised settlement has been reached. Nothing in this section allows the department to recover investigative costs for an administrative licensing action or any action that has not been filed in a court of law.
(c) Any person or entity responsible for investigative costs under this section shall be allowed to audit the departments investigative costs. The audit must be performed by a third-party certified public accountant and paid for by the person or entity requesting the audit. The department shall promulgate regulations to implement this subdivision by June 1, 2002.