Sunmart stations accused of cheating customers

Chris Rizo Jul. 28, 2008, 12:18pm

AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline)-Sunmart gas stations around Texas have cheated motorists by providing less gas than what customers paid for, and the attorney general could pursue charges, officials said.

The Texas Department of Agriculture said a recent investigation concluded that 990 of 1,704 pumps belonging to the Woodlands, Texas-based company were found to be non-compliant at 47 stations across Texas.

As a part of "Operation Spotlight," 50 agriculture department employees pumped gas from each pump at every station.

"At a time when families are struggling to purchase fuel, I am sure all Texans would agree with me that despicable violations such as these are repulsive and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," state Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said in a statement last week.

"Given the strong indication this company has intentionally cheated consumers, I have passed along the results of 'Operation Spotlight' to Attorney General Abbott and his office has opened an investigation into the matter," Staples said.

Petroleum Wholesale, L.P, which operates Sunmart stations, services more than 350 locations throughout 10 states. Staples said he has alerted officials in the other states as to the results of his investigation.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at

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