South Orange Gas Station Temporarily Closed and Its Owner Fined for Deceptive Sales Practices
NEWARK – A gas station owner in South Orange has been assessed a $9,800 penalty and barred from selling fuel for 15 days after he was found guilty of selling regular grade gasoline as premium grade, and other pricing violations.
State Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) officers uncovered the violations at the Delta Gas Station, located at 451 Irvington Avenue, during an unannounced inspection in October. OWM officers found that the posted per-gallon prices did not match the prices set on the pumps. They also discovered regular-grade gas being sold from premium-grade dispensers at premium-grade prices.
“This station owner robbed motorists, giving them less than what they paid for,” said Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. “Our Weights and Measures officers continue to conduct random inspections, as do county and municipal officers, and we’re sending a clear message to all gas station owners – you will not profit by cheating consumers.”
Station owner Irfan Hassan and his company, Signature Fuel, Inc., were issued 14 summonses. Hassan pled guilty to all 14 violations in municipal court during a hearing last month.
In addition to the $9,800 penalty, Hassan is barred from selling fuel on the following days: November 26 – 30; December 27-31; and January 27 – January 31, 2011.
This is the second time that Hassan has been caught similarly deceiving customers. Last year, he was also cited for selling regular grade gasoline as premium grade. At that time, he was assessed a $6,000 civil penalty and was barred from selling fuel for 10 days.
Acting Director Calcagni credited Acting Supervisor John McGuire for his work in the investigation.
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.
Contact information for county and municipal Weights and Measures offices can be found online at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/weights/county.htm .