There were 1,006 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 223,257 in the last 365 days.

January 13, 2022 - Herring Holds Three Gas Stations Accountable for Price Gouging

Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:   Charlotte Gomer, Director of Communication Phone: (804)786-1022  Mobile: (804) 512-2552 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

~ Gas stations allegedly charged unconscionable prices on gas during the Colonial Pipeline Emergency; Arlington-based Liberty Gas & Ahmed’s George Mason Auto Service will pay more than $7,000 in fees and restitution; Lake-Ridge-based Exxon at the Glen will pay nearly $3,000 in fees and restitution; and Henrico-based Gaskins Road Mobil will pay more than $6,000 in fees and restitution ~

RICHMOND  – Attorney General Mark R. Herring is holding three gas stations accountable for alleged price gouging of gasoline during the Colonial Pipeline emergency in the spring of 2021. Attorney General Herring has reached settlements with Arlington-based George Mason, LLC d/b/a Liberty Gas & Ahmed’s George Mason Auto Service (George Mason Liberty Gas), Lake-Ridge-based Shriji Maharaj, LLC d/b/a Exxon at the Glen (Exxon at the Glen), and Shivoham Inc. d/b/a Gaskins Road Mobil (Gaskins Road Mobil) for alleged violations of the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act relating to allegations that the gas stations charged unconscionable prices on gasoline, a necessary good, after a state of emergency was declared on May 11, 2021 in response to the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies motor fuels and other petroleum-based products to a large portion of the east coast.

 

Attorney General Herring has also taken other enforcement actions regarding price gouging following the Colonial Pipeline emergency. Additionally, he has taken enforcement actions against price gouging relating to the state of emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“It’s unfortunate that there are bad actors out there who will take advantage of their fellow Virginians during times of crisis or emergency just to line their own pockets,” said Attorney General Herring“I am proud of the work my Consumer Protection Section has done to monitor and investigate price gouging complaints, sending a strong message to businesses that price gouging will not be tolerated in the Commonwealth. Virginians should never have to worry about paying exorbitant prices for necessary goods during an emergency when they’re just trying to keep themselves and their families safe.”

 

George Mason Liberty Gas

Attorney General Herring’s Complaint alleges that, on May 15, 16, and 17, 2021, George Mason Liberty Gas significantly raised the prices of regular unleaded and premium gasoline. On those days, the gas station charged average prices of $3.80 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline and $4.300 for premium fuel, which represented, respectively, 30.36% and 20.15% increases over what the gas station was charging during the ten days immediately preceding the declaration of the state of emergency. Because those prices are averages, the Attorney General alleged that they may have climbed even higher during that period.  A violation of Virginia’s price gouging law is also a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

 

Under the terms of the settlement, George Mason Liberty Gas 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 $4,530.02 in excess profits made from the offending sales, which can be used for consumer restitution. Consumers who purchased regular or premium gasoline from George Mason Liberty Gas on May 15, 16, or 17 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 Arlington County Circuit Court.  

 

Exxon at the Glen

Attorney General Herring’s Complaint alleges that, on May 12, 2021, Exxon at the Glen raised the prices of premium gasoline to $4.599, which represented a 34.1% increase over what it was charging during the ten days immediately preceding the state of emergency.

 

Under the terms of the settlement, Exxon at the Glen 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 $2,000 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees, and also has disgorged more than $999.74 in excess profits made from the offending sales, which can be used for consumer restitution. Consumers who purchased premium gasoline from Exxon at the Glen on May 12 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 Prince William County Circuit Court.  

 

Gaskins Road Mobil

Attorney General Herring’s Complaint alleges that, on May 11 and 12, 2021, Gaskins Road Mobil raised the prices of all three grades of its gasoline to $3.799 for regular unleaded, $4.199 for midgrade gasoline, and $4.699 for premium gasoline. The increases to those price levels represented 37.6%, 31.2%, and 30.6% increases for regular unleaded, midgrade gasoline, and premium gasoline, respectively. 

 

Under the terms of the settlement, Gaskins Road Mobil 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 will be disgorging more than $3,722.59 in excess profits made from the offending sales, which can be used for consumer restitution. Consumers who purchased gasoline from Gaskins Road Mobil on May 11 or 12 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 Henrico County Circuit Court.

 

Attorney General Herring’s Anti-Price Gouging Work

During Governor Northam’s state of emergency that was issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office received more than 500 complaints and e-mails alleging possible price gouging activity and sent more than 150 investigative letters to businesses. Investigation of these complaints largely revealed that many price increases occurred further up the supply chain with manufacturers or distributors that were beyond the reach of the state’s price gouging laws, and this prompted Attorney General Herring to successfully seek amendments to the state’s price gouging law during the 2020 General Assembly special session.

 

Additionally, in April 2020, Attorney General Herring led a national effort to address price gouging in the PPE supply chain, urging 3M as one of the largest manufacturers of PPE, particularly masks, to do more to address price gouging within its supply and distribution chains that was causing hospitals and healthcare providers to pay exorbitant prices for PPE.

 

If a Virginia consumer suspects they are a victim of price gouging, they can call the Consumer Protection Hotline or download a complaint form from the Attorney General's website and submit it in-person, by mail, or by fax. Consumers are encouraged to keep any relevant documentation and submit copies with their complaint. If consumers believe they are a victim of price gouging specific to motor fuel they should file complaints with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

 

Consumers can contact Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section for information or to file a complaint: