Attorney General Finds Price Gouging at Eight Gas Stations in SeMo

SEPTEMBER 28, 2005 - Posted at 8:02 a.m. CDT, updated at 2:06 p.m.

ST. LOUIS, MO - Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon announced today that his office's investigation into retail gasoline prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has led to legal action being taken against the owners of ten gas stations, eight of which are in southeast Missouri.  Nixon launched his investigation on August 31, just two days after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.

"This has been one of the most comprehensive investigations ever into gas pricing data in Missouri," Nixon said today at a news conference in Cape Girardeau.  "In a situation where prices were changing daily, and sometimes several times a day...we examined market data for more than 50 stations around the state over a period for ten days before Katrina, and ten days after."

"We looked at this 20-day snapshot in time to compare the margins between how much retailers paid for the gas, and how much they charged the customers for the gas," Nixon said.  "That margin was the focal point of our investigation."

The Attorney General filed nine assurances of voluntary compliance with circuits around the state.  The owners of those stations, which Nixon had investigated on allegations of price gouging, will pay a total of $6,750 to the local school fund and have agreed to comply with Missouri consumer protection laws.  An additional $4,000 has been suspended, pending their compliance.  Those stations include...

-Travel Centers of America in Matthews ( New Madrid County).

-Pierce Petroleum-Broadway Citgo, Poplar Bluff (Butler Co.).

-Pierce Petroleum-Northside Citgo, Poplar Bluff (Butler Co.).

-Pierce Petroleum-Millie's Citgo, Poplar Bluff (Butler Co.).

-Jiffy Jim's, Caruthersville (Pemiscot Co.).

-24-7 Minimart, Doniphan (Ripley Co.).

-Duckett Truck Center, Poplar Bluff (Butler Co.).

-Ross Oil Corp., Piedmont (Wayne Co.).

Nixon's investigation team reviewed billing and pricing documents from gas stations across Missouri where consumers had complained of high gas prices, as well as thousands of gas receipts from state vehicles.