RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina’s Attorney General’s office has issued three more subpoenas Tuesday to gas stations in Winston-Salem (Forsyth County), Smithfield (Johnston County) and Stokesdale (Rockingham County) are being investigated for price gouging. Consumers reported the stations were allegedly charging $3.99 or more per gallon for gas.
The subpoenas require the businesses to respond to the allegations and provide documentation to the AG’s office including information on costs gas stations were charged by their suppliers.
Attorney General Roy Cooper said, “A supply crunch shouldn’t be an excuse to rip off people who need gas. We’re following up on consumers’ reports and taking action to investigate possible price gouging.”
As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Coopers office had received 1,145 reports of possible price gouging from consumers since Friday. That includes at least 38 complaints from the Asheville area, 45 from the Charlotte area, 40 from the Greenville area, 279 from the Triad, 184 from the Triangle, and 19 from the Wilmington area.
It is against North Carolina’s price gouging law to charge unreasonably excessive prices in times of crisis, when a disaster, an emergency or an abnormal market disruption for critical goods and services is declared or proclaimed by the Governor. There’s no set price or percentage increase that must be charged in order for it to be considered price gouging. The law applies to all levels of the supply chain from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer.