Brooklyn gas station accused of price gouging after Sandy

Posted: 10:39 PM, May 02, 2013
Updated: 2013-05-02 22:39:06-04

GREENPOINT, Brooklyn (PIX11) — The Attorney General says his office got hundreds of phone calls about expensive gas following Sandy.

Now this Sonomax station here in Greenpoint is one of four being sued by the state for allegedly taking advantage of customers.  And the Attorney General says he plans to hold all of them accountable.

Like many drivers after Hurricane Sandy, Ralph Rozborsky remembers how hard it was to fill up his tank.

But after learning that this Sonomax station — where he sometimes gets gas — may have been taking advantage of customers, he was fuming.

“I think they will have to be punished for this action, this is totally unlawful,” he said.

A lawsuit filed today by the state claims this station raised prices by almost a dollar per gallon following the storm, forcing customers to pay top dollar even after waiting hours in line.

In a statement Attorney General Eric Schniderman said, “Today, we are sending a powerful message that ripping off New Yorkers during a time of crisis is against the law and we will do everything in our power to hold them accountable.”

And Sonomax wasn’t alone.

Three other gas stations are named in the suit including: AGIP Gas/USA Petroleum in East Islip, Mena Inter Inc./USA Petroleumn in Farmingdale and The 900 N. Broadway, LLC/ BP in Massapequa.

When we asked an employee about the allegations, he declined to comment.

We asked to talk to the owner but we were told he wasn’t available.

But some customers were surprised by the lawsuit because they say this station usually has the best prices in the neighborhood.

“It’s one of the better ones in the area, but it’s still more expensive than Jersey,” customer Jason Ranggli said.

Thursday the Attorney General also announced settlements with 25 other gas stations accused of price gouging after Sandy totaling more than $160,000 in fines.

But drivers shouldn’t get too excited — all of that money will go to the state.