NEW YORK—Thirteen gas station operators are being investigated by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for price gouging during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
“Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging and we are taking action to send a message that ripping off New Yorkers is against the law,” said Schneiderman in a statement Thursday. His office received hundreds of complaints.
The state’s price-gouging law prohibits merchants from selling goods or services for an “unconscionably excessive price” during an “abnormal disruption of the market,” and covers businesses such as bodegas and hardware stores.
Six of the stations being investigated are in New York City, including a Shell in Jackson Heights that was reportedly charging $5.50 a gallon. Gas typically costs between $3.50 and $4.00 in the city.
In one case, a $3.89 price was indicated on a sign at a Long Island City gas station. But after waiting in a three-block-long line of cars, one New Yorker was charged $4.99 per gallon for using a credit card, and the cash price was $4.89.
Call the attorney general’s help line (800-771-7755) if you believe you have seen or experienced price gouging.
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