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Gas station reaches ‘price gouging’ settlement

A company that runs two convenience stores in Pulaski County and one in Radford City has reached a settlement for “price gouging” during a September 2008 state of emergency related to Hurricane Ike.
Virginia Attorney General Bill Mims announced Tuesday that L.V. Stone, Inc., which operates Bucko’s Pantry stores, agreed to a settlement that calls for the company to set aside $400 for consumer restitution, make a contribution of $800 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, and reimburse the Commonwealth for $2,800 in costs, investigative expenses, and attorneys’ fees.
The Commonwealth alleges Bucko’s Pantry stores in Dublin, Fairlawn and Radford violated the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act when it charged “unconscionable prices” for gas after Gov. Tim Kaine declared a Sept. 10, 2008 state of emergency. The declaration was spawned by Hurricane Ike heading toward the Gulf Coast, posing a threat to the oil drilling rigs in that region.
The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance settlement is filed in Radford City Circuit Court.
"This settlement will send a strong message that Virginia intends to enforce our Anti-Price Gouging Act," Mims said. "Those who would take advantage of Virginians by price gouging for gasoline or other necessities will not be tolerated."
According to a complaint filed along with the Assurance, alleges gas prices at the Fairlawn store increased 61 percent between Sept. 8 and Sept 12.
The complaint states that gas prices at the three stores on Sept. 12-13 were “unconscionable as grossly exceeding the prices the station charged during the 10 days immediately before the declaration.”
According to the complaint, the Fairlawn store, at 7554 Peppers Ferry Road, was charging $5.79 per gallon for regular on Sept. 12-13; the Dublin store at 629 E. Broad St. was charging $5.69 for regular; and the Radford City store at 1700 First St. was charging $4.99 for regular.
In comparison, the Hess store on East Main Street in Pulaski was charging $3.46 per gallon on Sept. 12 of that year.
Under the settlement, Bucko’s Pantry must post a notice on its front door and on each gas pump notifying its customers they may be eligible for restitution. It also requires the company to identify and issue refunds to credit and debit card customers who purchased gasoline at the higher prices and on Sept. 12-13, 2008.
Mims noted that the business “cooperated with his Office and with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and its Office of Product and Industry Standards, throughout the investigation.”

Gas station reaches ‘price gouging’ settlement

A company that runs two convenience stores in Pulaski County and one in Radford City has reached a settlement for “price gouging” during a September 2008 state of emergency related to Hurricane Ike.
Virginia Attorney General Bill Mims announced Tuesday that L.V. Stone, Inc., which operates Bucko’s Pantry stores, agreed to a settlement that calls for the company to set aside $400 for consumer restitution, make a contribution of $800 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, and reimburse the Commonwealth for $2,800 in costs, investigative expenses, and attorneys’ fees.
The Commonwealth alleges Bucko’s Pantry stores in Dublin, Fairlawn and Radford violated the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act when it charged “unconscionable prices” for gas after Gov. Tim Kaine declared a Sept. 10, 2008 state of emergency. The declaration was spawned by Hurricane Ike heading toward the Gulf Coast, posing a threat to the oil drilling rigs in that region.
The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance settlement is filed in Radford City Circuit Court.
"This settlement will send a strong message that Virginia intends to enforce our Anti-Price Gouging Act," Mims said. "Those who would take advantage of Virginians by price gouging for gasoline or other necessities will not be tolerated."
According to a complaint filed along with the Assurance, alleges gas prices at the Fairlawn store increased 61 percent between Sept. 8 and Sept 12.
The complaint states that gas prices at the three stores on Sept. 12-13 were “unconscionable as grossly exceeding the prices the station charged during the 10 days immediately before the declaration.”
According to the complaint, the Fairlawn store, at 7554 Peppers Ferry Road, was charging $5.79 per gallon for regular on Sept. 12-13; the Dublin store at 629 E. Broad St. was charging $5.69 for regular; and the Radford City store at 1700 First St. was charging $4.99 for regular.
In comparison, the Hess store on East Main Street in Pulaski was charging $3.46 per gallon on Sept. 12 of that year.
Under the settlement, Bucko’s Pantry must post a notice on its front door and on each gas pump notifying its customers they may be eligible for restitution. It also requires the company to identify and issue refunds to credit and debit card customers who purchased gasoline at the higher prices and on Sept. 12-13, 2008.
Mims noted that the business “cooperated with his Office and with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and its Office of Product and Industry Standards, throughout the investigation.”