Michigan AG to investigate price gouging

Nick Rees Sep. 18, 2008, 3:59pm


LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has begun questioning more than a dozen gas station owners who have been accused of dramatically raising their gas prices during Hurricane Ike.

More than 1,000 consumers contacted Cox's consumer protection office since Hurricane Ike came to shore.

Letters were sent from Cox's office to 16 gas stations demanding detailed information on retail pricing, wholesale costs, supplies and other data regarding the surrounding hours of the arrival of Hurricane Ike.

The data will then be used to determine if price-gouging standards under the Michigan Consumer Protection act were met.

"Last week, I put station owners on notice that my office would carefully scrutinize unexpectedly high gas prices. This week, I am calling for more information and explanation from stations which had the largest increases," Cox said.

"If any station is deemed to have violated Michigan's price gouging law, I will move swiftly to prosecute them,"

The requested documents must be sent within two weeks. If a station owner is found guilty of gouging, he or she faces penalties of up to $25,000.

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