Waynesboro gas station enters settlement on price gouging allegations
The Waynesboro Marathon gas station is among two additional gas stations in the Commonwealth being held accountable for price gouging during the Colonial Pipeline emergency from this past spring.
Attorney General Mark Herring has reached settlements with Terry Singh Corp., doing business as Waynesboro Marathon, and Springfield-based Tahir and Sons LLC, doing business as Interstate Fuel, for alleged violations of the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act relating to allegations that the gas stations charged unconscionable prices on gasoline after a state of emergency was declared on May 11 in response to the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.
“The sad reality is that bad actors will take advantage of their fellow Virginians during times of crisis or emergency just to make an extra buck,” Herring said. “My Consumer Protection Section will continue to monitor and investigate any complaints we receive of alleged price gouging in the Commonwealth. Businesses should know that, if they choose to participate in price gouging practices, they will be held accountable – price gouging will not be tolerated in Virginia.”
Herring’s complaint alleges that on May 11-12, Waynesboro Marathon was charging as much as $3.99 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline; the increase to that price point represented a 45 percent increase over what the station was charging before the disaster occurred. Similar increases were noted on midgrade gasoline, where average prices increased more than 32 percent.
A violation of Virginia’s price gouging law is also a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
Under the terms of the settlement, Waynesboro Marathon agrees to be enjoined from engaging in further violations of Virginia’s price gouging law and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The business also has agreed to pay $2,500 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees, and also has disgorged more than $1,394.15 in excess profits made from the offending sales, which can be used for consumer restitution.
Consumers who purchased regular or midgrade gasoline from Waynesboro Marathon on or around May 11th and 12th should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section to be considered for reimbursement of excess charges they paid.
The settlement, in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, has been filed for approval with the Waynesboro City Circuit Court.