price gouging

Price Gouging Lawsuit Claims Customers Overcharged at Dozens of Local Gas Stations

Virginia company sued for violating state of emergency consumer protection laws

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Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit Thursday against Capitol Petroleum Group, LLC (CPG), a leading retailer and distributor of gasoline in the District of Columbia, as well as several affiliated companies, for illegal price gouging during the District’s COVID-19 emergency, which is still in effect.

The D.C. Attorney General’s Office claims Capitol Petroleum Group overcharged customers at 54 gas stations in the District.  

The Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) investigation revealed that even as wholesale prices dropped when the economy slowed in March and April 2020, CPG unlawfully doubled its profits on each gallon of gas sold to consumers.

The OAG is seeking a court order to stop CPG from violating the District’s price gouging and consumer protection laws, relief for consumers who were charged unfairly high prices, and civil penalties.

“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 AG 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.”

Capitol Petroleum Group, LLC did not respond to our request for comment. 

If you spot price gouging during a state of emergency you can submit a complaint online with the Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, or by calling (202) 442-9828. 

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