Business admits to price-gouging, settles with state

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KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Kentucky fuel retailer and convenience store, Brothers Market, in Knox County, has settled with the state allegations of unfair business practices related to excessive fuel prices following the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.

“Thanks to tips from concerned Kentuckians, we investigated increased fuel prices at Brothers Market and reached a settlement with the business for excessively increasing fuel costs to take advantage of consumers following the Colonial Pipeline shutdown,” said Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who announced the settlement.

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Following a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, which created a disruption in the delivery of gasoline, Cameron’s Office of Consumer Protection received 11 complaints of suspected price gouging of gasoline at Brothers Market in Girdler, Ky.

While investigating these complaints, the Knox County retailer admitted to increasing gasoline prices to capitalize on increased buying spurred by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.

During the investigation, the Office of Consumer Protection discovered the retailer increased the price of regular gasoline by 9.3 percent to 19.4 percent and sold 6,860.04 gallons of regular gasoline, accumulating $5,666.40 in additional profit as a result of the inflated prices.

Special Attorney Rebecca Price worked with Brothers Market’s lawyer and reached an agreement.

Under the agreement, Brothers Market agreed to:

• Pay $5,666.40 in profit disgorgement;

• Comply with the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act by not selling or offering to sell fuel    at its station or any other station owned or operated by Brothers Market in Kentucky for    unconscionable prices.

If the retailer violates the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act again, the store will be liable for the waived civil penalties, totaling $41,160.24, and will face additional enforcement action by the Attorney General’s office.