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Big Willy’s Owners Settle Harvey Price-Gouging Claims

Operators overcharged during hurricane’s state of emergency, Texas attorney general alleges
Photograph: Shutterstock

AUSTIN, Texas -- Three more fuel retailers have settled with Texas' attorney general over charges that they price-gouged during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The Consumer Protection Division of the Texas attorney general’s office received consumer complaints that 11 sites owned by Sun Macro Corp., Mr. Group Inc. and Star Impex Inc. were charging up to $4.99 per gallon for regular-grade gasoline during a state of disaster declared by Gov. Greg Abbott as Hurricane Harvey was approaching Texas’ coast. Most of the sites were branded Big Willy’s; they are located in Alvarado, Arlington, Burleson, Cleburne, Joshua, Lake Worth, Mansfield, Mineral Wells and Whitney, Texas.

The three companies have agreed to reimburse customers who paid $3.99 per gallon or more for regular-grade gasoline at these locations from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, 2017.

“My office is sending a powerful message that taking advantage of Texans during a declared disaster such as Hurricane Harvey is against the law, and we will always do everything in our power to hold violators accountable,” Paxton said. “This latest settlement ensures that aggrieved consumers are repaid if they were victims of price gouging at the pumps.”

The Consumer Protection Division continues to investigate price-gouging complaints related to Hurricane Harvey. In early December, the agency announced a settlement with Bains Brothers LLC, a Dallas-Fort Worth-area fuel retailer, and in July it settled with the owners of 48 other gas stations, most in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. To date, the attorney general’s office has finalized 54 settlements with fuel retailers over Harvey-related price-gouging allegations.

 

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