RALEIGH – Attorney General Roy Cooper issued subpoenas to two more gas stations on Wednesday, Sept. 21 as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of price gouging, bringing the total number of subpoenas issued to seven.
On Wednesday, subpoenas requesting information went to one gas station in Indian Trail (Union County), and one in Raleigh (Wake County). Complaints filed with Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division alleged that the gas stations charged $4.99 or more per gallon for gas.
“Gouging consumers during a gas shortage isn’t just unfair—it’s illegal,” Cooper said. “My office takes reports of possible price gouging seriously and we’re moving forward with our investigation.”
Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division is investigating potential gas price gouging based on approximately 1,300 complaints from consumers. Consumers who believe they’ve spotted potential gas price gouging are encouraged to report it by filing a consumer complaint at ncdoj.gov or calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina.
Today’s subpoenas follow earlier subpoenas issued Monday and Tuesday to gas stations and wholesalers in Guilford, Forsyth, Johnston, and Rockingham counties. Additional subpoenas are likely later this week. The subpoenas require recipients to respond to allegations of price gouging and provide documentation to the Attorney General’s office, including information on what prices gas stations were charged by their suppliers.
As of 4 pm on Wednesday, Cooper’s office had received about 1,340 reports of possible price gouging from consumers since Friday.
“Information from consumers on the ground is essential in my office’s fight against price gouging, so if you spot inflated prices at the gas pump, let us know,” Cooper said.
When a disaster, emergency, or abnormal market disruption for critical goods and services is declared or proclaimed by the Governor, price gouging—or charging unreasonably excessive prices in times of crisis—violates North Carolina General Statute 75-38. North Carolina’s price gouging law went into effect on Friday following the declaration of an abnormal market disruption due to a gas pipeline leak in Alabama.
Under the law, there is 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.