DC Attorney General Karl Racine has filed a lawsuit against Capitol Petroleum Group, LLC (CPG), a leading retailer and distributor of gasoline in the District and several affiliated companies for illegal price gouging during the coronavirus crisis.
While wholesale gas prices went down due to the economic fallout of the pandemic in March and April 2020, CPG unlawfully doubled its profits on each gallon of gas sold to consumers at 54 gas stations around the city, according to Racine’s office.
The Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) said in a statement that together with its affiliates (Anacostia Realty, LLC, and DAG Petroleum Suppliers, LLC), the company unfairly increased profit margins they earned on gas distribution to other retailers.
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) November 12, 2020
“Price gouging is illegal in the District, and companies may not unlawfully increase their profit margins at the expense of District residents during an emergency,” said Racine.
“The overwhelming majority of the District’s businesses continue to follow the law. In this case, however, OAG’s investigation revealed that—despite lower gasoline prices during the pandemic—Capital Petroleum Group took advantage of the District’s consumers by illegally increasing the price of its products, instead of passing the cost savings along to District consumers as required by law,” he continued.
OAG is seeking a court order to stop CPG from violating the District’s price gouging and consumer protection laws, as well as relief for consumers who were charged unfairly high prices, and civil penalties.
Another DC company sued by OAG for price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic was Helen Mart, a convenience store located in Ward 7.