Bryan Cohen May 3, 2013, 7:05pm

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced lawsuits Thursday against four service stations for alleged violations of the New York State Price Gouging statute in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The Brooklyn-based Greenpoint Truck Stop Inc./Sonomax, the East Islip-based AGIP Gas LLC/USA Petroleum, the Farmingdale-based Mena Inter Inc./USA Petroleum and the Massapequa-based The 900 N. Broadway LLC/BP allegedly charged consumers unconscionably excessive prices in the days after Hurricane Sandy in November. The state's Price Gouging Law prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling services or goods for an unconscionably excessive price during natural disasters that represents a gross disparity between the price charged immediately before and after an emergency.

"Six months ago this week, as New Yorkers were sitting in lines waiting for hours to buy critical supplies of gasoline, some shady business owners were trying to make a fast buck at their expense," Schneiderman said. "Today, we are sending a powerful message that ripping off New Yorkers during a time of crisis is against the law and we will do everything in our power to hold them accountable."

Schneiderman also announced monetary settlements with 25 other service stations that allegedly engaged in price gouging for a total recovery of $167,850. Schneiderman's office settled with service stations in New York City, Rockland County, Westchester County and on Long Island.

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