Bruning vows to prosecute gas cheats

By Chris Rizo | May 6, 2008

LINCOLN, Neb. (Legal Newsline)-Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has issued a stiff warning to gas station operators who are considering cheating their customers by switching fuels.

"Gas prices are high, and people ought to get what they pay for," Bruning said, vowing to prosecute filling station operators who "deceive the public" by switching regular unleaded gasoline for alcohol-blended gas.

"We intend to prosecute those who deceive the public," he said. "Certainly I would ask Nebraskans to be patient as we investigate these claims but rest assured we're going to make sure people play by the rules."

The Republican attorney general's comments Monday come on the heels of word that state inspectors were finding three to four gas stations a week trying to deceive customers.

State Weights and Measures Administrator Steve Malone said stations who swap gasoline do so by hooking up ethanol pumps that are falsely labeled as regular gas.

The move allows stations to get anywhere from an additional nickel or dime a gallon.

The same day as Bruning's comments, the Lundberg survey of 7,000 gas stations said the average price for regular gasoline had risen about 15 cents in the past two weeks, or 55 cents this year.

Meanwhile, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said the the average U.S. price for regular gas was $3.61 a gallon, down 1.3 cents from the record set Thursday of $3.623 a gallon.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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