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State’s top lawmen says Greenpoint truck stop gouged post-Sandy customers

State’s top lawmen says Greenpoint truck stop gouged post-Sandy customers
Gouge away: Sonomax jacked up its prices in the days after Hurricane Sandy, the state attorney general office claims.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A Greenpoint truck stop (yeah, apparently we have one of those) overcharged customers during Hurricane Sandy, illegally raking in big bucks during the city’s time of need, the state’s top lawman claimed.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the owners of Sonomax truck stop on Greenpoint Avenue between Jewel and Moultrie streets ripped off customers by raising prices 98 cents right after Sandy to $4.59.

“Some shady business owners were trying to make a fast buck at the expense [of the storm’s victims],” said Schneiderman. “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.”

New York State’s price gouging law prohibits merchants from selling goods or services for “unconscionably excessive price” during natural disasters. The price gouging law covers New York State vendors, retailers and suppliers. The law specifically says that a price may be considered excessive if there is a “gross disparity” between the prices charged immediately before and after the emergency and the disparity is not attributable to higher costs imposed upon the seller, according to Schneiderman.

The truck stop’s owner Sam Jacobi declined to comment on the case while it is in litigation.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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