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AG Accuses Cortlandt Manor Gas Station of Price Gouging

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said he has notified 13 gas stations in New York state that he intends to begin enforcement proceedings against them.

A Cortlandt Manor Shell is among 13 New York gas stations the state attorney general's office has accused of price gouging in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

A consumer reported the Shell at 3709 Crompond Road was selling gas at $5.00 per-gallon during the days after the storm, according to a statement from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Two Mobil gas station – one on Westchester Avenue and another one on the Hutchinson River Parkway in White Plains – are also accused of gouging prices.

Schneiderman's office expects to hand out more notices as the "wide-ranging" investigation continues, according to the statement.

"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," Schneiderman said in a statement. "Today's action is the first in a series of steps my office will take as we continue to actively investigate the hundreds of complaints we've received from consumers of businesses preying on victims of Hurricane Sandy."

New York State's price-gouging statute prohibits merchants from selling goods or services for an "unconscionably excessive price" during a disaster or disruption of service. The law applies to places like gas stations, grocery stores, bodegas, delis and taxi drivers.

Patch received dozens of complaints from readers The 13 stations cited Thursday stood out because of their high prices and the size of their price increases, according to the statement.

"I am really annoyed that any gas station would take advantage of citizens at a time when a major storm has upended their lives," said Douglas McGowan, a retired police officer and real estate professional who lives in Yorktown. "These people are not good neighbors."

Operators at each location have been notified that the attorney general will begin enforcement proceedings.

The 11 other gas stations are from Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Two of the gas stations are accused of selling gas for more than $5.50 per-gallon.

Jay Horgan November 16, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I hope that the AG, follows through and punishes and fines these gas station owners for taking advantage of the vunerable victims at a time of crisis. Its inconcievable to me that they are allowed to get away with overcharging for gas in a time of need. Shame on them, let them be made examples of, so that we can prevent this in the future.
Francis T McVetty November 16, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Jay how about the gouging going on with the tree services? No one talking about that are they?
Jay Horgan November 16, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Francis, You are correct, and it certainly is a huge problem as well. But I suppose you have to start somewhere, and this issue hit all of our pockets. If customers had a better understanding of fair prices for treee services, that would certainly help, but in todays world, you need to be your own best buyers advocate. Its a good point.
Ashley Elam November 16, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Speaking of which why not start a page on Facebook or write an opinion to give to the Patch about tree removal prices that you or your neighbors have experienced. The only reason we know about the gas gouging is because someone somewhere spoke out in public.
Dominic November 17, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Customers should boycott that station and drive him out of business. The owner is driving around in his Lamborghini and thinks he's going to get away with ripping local residents off.
William Primavera November 17, 2012 at 06:33 PM
And remember, this is the same owner who for obvious reasons is opposed to Costco because it will have a fueling station that will offer competitive gas prices.
Walden Macnair November 17, 2012 at 09:15 PM
William that was exactly the same thought that I had. Now that same group is siting environmental concerns about putting a gas station there because if there was a catastrophic failure of all systems it might pollute Hunterdon Creek. Really? But the gas stations that are already there would have no impact at all? This is the worst case of self serving elitists who think they can dictate the law so they can make a profit and in this particular case he broke the law. I can only hope that they pull his license and shut the Shell Station down. Boycott the Shell Station and Support Costco. Both actions are good for the community.
Francis T McVetty November 17, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Isn't the Mobil station owned by him also?

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