Friday, September 02, 2005

Gas Price Gouging Investigated

Attorney General Charlie Crist today sent teams of
investigators and sworn law enforcement personnel from his office to
locations throughout Florida, including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm
Beach, Jacksonville, Ft. Myers, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee
and Pensacola. The teams will be looking into complaints of price gouging
on the price of gasoline. Crist said investigators will be looking to
determine whether the rapid rise of gas prices meets the legal definition
of gouging, and vowed to prosecute any violations of the law.

As of 1:00 p.m. Friday, the Attorney General's toll-free consumer
hotline (1-866-9-NO-SCAM, or 1-866-966-7226) had received 1,050 complaints
about skyrocketing gas prices in the days since Hurricane Katrina ravaged
the Gulf Coast. The investigation seeks to determine whether the increases
are caused by legitimate market forces or are instead the result of illegal
price gouging.

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