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Paula T. Dow,
Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Thomas R. Calcagni, Director

   
For Immediate Release:
September 29, 2011
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
Neal Buccino, 973-504-6327
 

Owner of Previously-Cited Gas Stations Fined and
to be Issued Conditional License Renewals, under Coordinated Enforcement Action by Divisions of
Consumer Affairs and Taxation

NEWARK The owner of five gas stations with a history of Motor Fuels law violations has been assessed $5,000 in civil penalties for operating without Motor Fuels Retail Dealer Licenses and upon payment will be issued conditional license renewals that can be revoked, and his stations closed, if further violations occur.

The actions against Irfan Hassan are a coordinated enforcement effort involving the State Division of Consumer Affairs' Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) and the Division of Taxation within the New Jersey Department of Treasury. OWM officers check gas stations for compliance with state laws and regulations while the Division of Taxation issues the Motor Fuels Retailer Dealer License that each station owner is required to obtain.

Gas stations owned by Hassan have been cited and prosecuted by OWM officers for violations including co-mingling regular with premium grade fuel, which results in lower octane ratings; selling regular grade gasoline from a premium grade fuel dispenser at the premium grade price; and pump prices not matching the prices displayed on signs.

"Those who see fines as just a cost of doing business had better reconsider. If violations continue, the increased mandatory penalties for subsequent violations may result in the closing of the stations for a significant period,"Attorney General Paula T. Dow said.

In 2009, Hassan was cited by OWM officers for co-mingling regular grade gasoline with premium grade at his Delta Gas Station (451 Irvington Avenue) in South Orange. He paid a $6,000 civil penalty and was barred from selling fuel for 10 days, under a ruling by a municipal court judge. Last year, Hassan again was found guilty of selling regular grade gasoline as premium grade at this same station. He paid a $9,800 penalty and was barred from selling fuel for 15 days.

"Enough is enough. Mr. Hassan, by his history of violations, has demonstrated his utter contempt for consumers and our laws regulating how to properly conduct business,"said Thomas R. Calcagni, Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. "We are closely watching how consumers are treated at his stations moving forward, and Mr. Hassan risks his licenses to operate the stations if he again violates our Motor Fuels law."

The Division of Taxation assessed $1,000 penalties, and upon payment, plans to issue a one-year conditional license renewal to the following companies owned by Hassan:

Fidelity Builders, Inc. 1064 Avenue C Bayonne

Fidelity Builders, Inc. 248 Avenue C Bayonne

Friends Gas, Inc. 221 Central Ave. East Orange

Signature Fuels, Inc. 339 Northfield Ave. West Orange

Signature Fuel, Inc. 451 Irvington Ave. South Orange

All the stations at these locations are Delta gas stations.

"This is a good example,"said Acting Superintendent of Weights and Measures, Robert Campanelli, "of how two agencies of government working together can produce positive results for the protection of the public."

Motorists can report suspected violations to the State Office of Weights and Measures by filling out a complaint form located at http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/complaint/ocp.pdf or by calling the Office at 732-815-4840.

Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website, www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov, or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200. Follow the Division of Consumer Affairs on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/NJ-Division-of-Consumer-Affairs/112957465445651; and check our online calendar of upcoming Consumer Outreach events, at .

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