Schneiderman Settles With More Stations Over Sandy Price Gouging

Brings total agreements so far to 30

Published in CSP Daily News

ALBANY, N.Y. -- As part of an ongoing probe of high gasoline prices in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that he has reached monetary settlements with five more gas stations for violations of the New York State Price Gouging statute.

The five new settlements are with three stations in Westchester County and two stations in Suffolk County. The agreements come on the heels of 25 previous settlements announced earlier this month and bring total penalties going to the state to $185,000 so far.

Watch the embedded video of Schneiderman's press conference in early May announcing the previous settlements.

Beyond the 30 settlement agreements, the AG's office filed lawsuits against four stations earlier this month and investigations remain pending against dozens of other station.

In the days after the storm, areas of New York saw some of the largest jumps in gasoline prices in state history, said Schneiderman. The price jumps resulted in hundreds of complaints received by the AG's office and showed that prices were changing at the pump, not only overnight but several times a day.

In Suffolk County, one station increased its margin by as much as 98% during the storm-related state of emergency, according to Schneiderman.

New York State's Price Gouging Law prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services for an "unconscionably excessive price" during natural disasters. Thelaw covers New York State vendors, retailers and suppliers. It says that a price may be considered excessive if there is a "gross disparity" between the prices charged immediately before and after the emergency and the disparity is not attributable to higher costs imposed upon the seller.

The latest settlements include:

Suffolk County:

USA Gasoline, Holbrook.

  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price prior to storm: 45 cents.
  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price immediately following storm: 89 cents.
  • Increase in wholesale/retail spread before and after storm: 98%.
  • Retail price immediately following storm: $4.69.

Pars Auto Service, West Islip.

  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price prior to storm: 83 cents.
  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price immediately following storm: $1.35.
  • Increase in wholesale/retail spread before and after storm: 62%.
  • Retail price immediately following storm: $4.29.

Westchester County:

Sunoco of RBJ Service Station, Harrison.

  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price prior to storm: $1.35.
  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price immediately following storm: $1.91.
  • Increase in wholesale/retail spread before and after storm: 37%.
  • Retail price immediately following storm: $4.79.

Shell of DJ's Auto Delicious Inc., North White Plains.

  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price prior to storm: $1.13.
  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price immediately following storm: $1.52.
  • Increase in wholesale/retail spread before and after storm: 35%.
  • Retail price immediately following storm: $4.39.

A&S Texaco Inc., Yonkers.

  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price prior to storm: $1.36.
  • Difference between wholesale price and retail price immediately following storm: $1.82.
  • Increase in wholesale/retail spread before and after storm: 34%.
  • Retail price immediately following storm: $4.59.
Keywords: 
fuel prices, fuels data