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October 6, 2011

MADIGAN SUES ROCKFORD GAS STATION FOR FRAUD

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed suit against a Rockford gas station and its owner for charging consumers premium- and mid-grade gasoline prices for what was in fact only regular-grade gas.

Madigan filed the lawsuit in Winnebago County Circuit Court alleging TWI Petro Group Inc. and its president Tony Wahbeh, of Skokie, pumped regular gasoline into tanks priced for sale as premium- and mid-grade gas.

“Gas prices are already sky high. I’m not going to tolerate gas station owners illegally profiting by ripping off customers,” Attorney General Madigan said. “In this case, the owner was selling low octane gas at high octane prices.”

Madigan’s office received a tip that at least since November 2010 through August 2011, Wahbeh was selling regular-grade Phillips 66 brand gas at the higher prices at his Gas n Go station, 1603 11th St. in Rockford. The Illinois Department of Agriculture, acting on a similar tip, previously tested a sample of the station’s gas labeled “premium” and found it was only 87.8 octane, instead of the advertised 93 octane.

Madigan is asking the court to require Wahbeh to pay damages for overcharging customers and requested the court to impose civil penalties on Wahbeh of $50,000 for each violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, $50,000 for each violation committed with the intent to defraud and an additional $10,000 for each violation committed against a person 65 years or older.

Consumers who believe they may have been the victim of a scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline, (800) 386-5438, and (866) 310-8398 for Spanish speakers.

Elizabeth Phalen, director of the Attorney General’s Northern Illinois Regional Office, is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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