Bryan Cohen Apr. 18, 2013, 4:57pm

NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced settlements Wednesday with two gas stations to resolve allegations that they unjustifiably and excessively raised fuel prices after Superstorm Sandy.

C.S. George & Sons Inc., doing business as the Clifton-based George's Gulf Station, and Shiv Shivam Inc., doing business as the Piscataway-based Lukoil, will collectively pay $46,000 to resolve allegations of price gouging. After Governor Chris Christie declared a State of Emergency in response to Superstorm Sandy, C.S. George & Sons allegedly raised regular gasoline prices by 34 percent and Shiv Shivam allegedly raised regular gasoline prices by 17.5 percent.

C.S. George & Sons and Shiv Shivam are among the 24 businesses sued in late 2012 by Chiesa's office and the Division of Consumer Affairs for alleged price gouging.

"Through Governor Christie's leadership, we acted swiftly and decisively to investigate consumer complaints about alleged price-gouging and to file lawsuits, where warranted, in order to protect New Jersey residents from such unlawful practices," Chiesa said. "These two settlements are the first of what I expect to be a series of resolutions to the price-gouging lawsuits that we have filed to date."

The state's price gouging law prohibits excessive increases in price during a declared State of Emergency and for 30 days thereafter. Prices may not be increased by more than 10 percent above a normal markup during that time.

Under the terms of the settlements, C.S. George & Sons must pay $26,000, Shiv Shivam must pay $20,000 and both gas stations must comply with the state's Consumer Fraud Act in the future. Failure to comply with the law could subject the stations to additional civil penalties.

Chiesa's office received more than 2,000 consumer complaints related to price gouging after the landfall by Superstorm Sandy.

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