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4 more LI gas stations accused of gouging

A man fills up his gas can while

A man fills up his gas can while others wait in line at a gas station in Miller Place. (Nov. 4, 2012) Credit: Daniel Brennan

Another four Long Island gas stations were among 12 accused Thursday by state officials of price gouging after superstorm Sandy.

At one of those named, a Liberty Petroleum station at 1278 Hempstead Tpke. in Elmont, a customer claimed to have been charged $6.99 a gallon for regular gasoline in the days after the storm struck Oct. 29.

The state's price gouging law prohibits gas stations, supermarkets, taxis, hardware stores and other businesses from selling goods or services for an "unconscionably excessive price" during an "abnormal disruption of the market," such as a weather event.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said his office had notified the 12 of its intent to begin enforcement proceedings against them. Such actions could include a lawsuit by the office against the businesses, but often a settlement is reached. The letter asks the stations to show evidence that they did not gouge. Yesterday's actions are based on consumer complaints and independently gathered pricing information, officials said.

At another of the stations cited Thursday, a Coastal outlet at 1575 Rte. 112, Port Jefferson Station, a customer complained to the attorney general's office of being charged $4.69 per gallon on Nov. 6 while neighboring stations were charging between $3.69 and $4.05.

Others cited included a BP station at 1009 Fulton St. in Farmingdale, where a customer claimed to have been charged $4.71 a gallon on Nov. 3; and an Ultra station at 3300 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown, where a customer reported being charged $4.89 a gallon for regular gas on Nov. 5.

None of the Long Island station owners could be reached Thursday for comment.

Schneiderman says his office has received hundreds of complaints since the storm. Earlier this month he announced similar actions against 13 other stations, including one in Nassau and three in Suffolk.

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