Friday, June 7, 2013

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Petroleum Wholesale Sunmart to Pay $5.2 Million and Refunds to Texas Customers

AUSTIN Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today resolved the State’s enforcement actions against Petroleum Wholesale LP, Sunmart Inc. and Sun Development LP. In July 2008, the State charged Petroleum Wholesale, Sunmart and related defendants with unlawfully miscalibrating their gasoline pumps to deliver less than a full gallon of fuel in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). Later, in August 2011, the State filed another enforcement action charging the same defendants with unlawfully diluting their medium and premium grade gasolines with regular unleaded fuel.

Under today’s agreement, Petroleum Wholesale and Sunmart agreed to establish a $5 million restitution fund for affected customers. To ensure that customers are informed about the restitution fund, Petroleum Wholesale must post notices about the fund in its stores within 60 days. The defendants will also launch a website that informs customers about the restitution process.

The agreement, which was memorialized in a final agreed judgment issued by a Harris County state district court, requires Petroleum Wholesale and Sunmart to make the following payments to the State:
$2.2 million in compensatory damages
$2.6 million for investigative costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees
$300,000 to satisfy Texas Department of Agriculture penalty actions

This agreed final judgment resolves all of the Office of the Attorney General’s enforcement actions against Petroleum Wholesale.