CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. ? A Cortlandt Manor gas station is being investigated by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman under the state's price gouging statute.
Schneiderman said the Shell at 3709 Crompond Road is one of 13 service stations in the state, and three in Westchester, that sold fuel for $5 a gallon or more. He said in a press release he intends to target the 13 for enforcement in "the first of what is expected to be a series of actions taken in a wide-ranging investigation launched in the wake of Hurricane Sandy."
The release said the attorney general's office received hundreds of consumer complaints since the storm struck on Oct. 29.
"Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging and we are taking action to send a message that ripping off New Yorkers is against the law," said Schneiderman. "Today's action is the first in a series of steps my office will take as we continue to actively investigate the hundreds of complaints we've received from consumers of businesses preying on victims of Hurricane Sandy.
"We will do everything we can to stop unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives," he said.
The other Westchester gas retailers named in the release were both White Plains Mobil stations, at 174 Westchester Ave. and on the Hutchinson River Parkway. Both sold gas for more than $5 a gallon, according to consumer complaints.
The state’s price gouging law (General Business Law § 396-r) prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services for an "unconscionably excessive price" during an "abnormal disruption of the market."
The law covers New York State vendors, retailers and suppliers, including but not limited to supermarkets, gas stations, hardware stores, bodegas, delis and taxi and livery cab drivers.