Two more gas stations cited for gouging

NORCROSS - Two more Gwinnett gas stations have been fined for ripping off customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The penalties are part of an ongoing investigation by the Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs into statewide price gouging after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.

The storm prompted consumer panic, with many customers waiting in long lines to stockpile fuel out of fear it would run out. Prices soared to at least $4 a gallon at many locations.

These gas stations were cited for price gouging during that chaos, according to the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs:

•Quick Pick Food Mart at 3190 Ga. Highway 124, Snellville, fined $3,000.

•Shell Big H Food Store at 6549 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain, fined $1,000.

The Chevron Food Shop at 5694 Buford Highway, Norcross, received a $2,000 fine in November.

Each gas station must post notice of its fine and reimburse customers whose receipts show they paid more than the legal market price for fuel, according to their settlement with the consumer affairs office.

Since the investigation began, 64 Georgia gas stations have been penalized for illegally raising prices after the hurricane, said office spokesman Bill Cloud. The fines range from about $1,000 to $10,000.

The state received more than 3,300 complaints of price gouging from the public after Hurricane Katrina damaged Gulf Coast oil operations, disrupting gasoline supplies to Georgia and other states.