Archive for the ‘Price Gouging’ Category

Tulsa Man Sentenced in Gas Price Gouging Case

March 25, 2008

Drivers who were illegally overcharged for gasoline could see a refund after a Tulsa gas station owner pleaded no contest today to price gouging during the December ice storms, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said.

Mohammed Mannan, 38, was charged Feb. 12 in Tulsa County District Court with three misdemeanor counts of violating the Oklahoma Emergency Price Stabilization Act. Mannan, owner and operator of the M&F Mart, 3025 S. Memorial in Tulsa, was accused of illegally raising the price of gasoline from $2.69 to $3.29 after a state of emergency was declared in December.

Mannan, who was ordered to serve a six-month deferred sentence, must pay refunds to consumers who paid the artificially inflated price. Consumers who think they may have been overcharged will need to complete a consumer complaint form and provide a receipt, bank or credit card statement or other proof of payment. Purchases made on Dec. 10 may be eligible for a refund. To receive a form, consumers can contact the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit at 405-521-2029 or Mannan will also pay a $1,500 fine plus court costs.

Oklahoma’s price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a state of emergency has been declared:

No person for the duration of a declaration of emergency by the Governor of this state or by the President of the United States and for thirty (30) days thereafter shall sell, rent, or lease, or offer to sell, rent, or lease, for delivery in the emergency area, any goods, services, dwelling units, or storage space in the emergency area at a rate or price which is more than ten percent (10%) above the rate or price charged by the person for the same or similar goods, services, dwelling units, or storage spaces immediately prior to the declaration of emergency unless the increase in the rate or price is attributable only to factors unrelated to the emergency and does not include any increase in profit to the seller or owner.