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Krist Oil Co. to Pay Civil Forfeitures for Multiple Violations of 24-Hour Gas Pricing Law


MADISON - Krist Oil Co. of Iron River, Michigan has agreed to pay civil forfeitures to resolve allegations that it violated Wisconsin's consumer protection law, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today. The Wisconsin Department of Justice brought a civil action in Marinette County Circuit Court, charging the company with illegally raising the posted prices of gasoline more than once in a 24 hour period at several of its outlets. The alleged violations occurred at motor fuel outlets the company operated in Neenah, Peshtigo, Marinette, Eagle River, Lakewood and Superior.


Wisconsin law requires that every wholesaler or other entity selling or distributing motor fuel in the state keep posted, in a conspicuous place, the net selling price per gallon of all grades of motor fuel and the amount of all taxes per gallon. Under the law, all prices posted shall remain in effect for at least 24 hours. The law provides up to $200 in forfeitures per violation.


"The gas pricing law is clear," J.B. Van Hollen said. "Posted prices are to remain in effect for at least 24 hours following a price change. My office will continue to work with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to ensure that this consumer protection law is followed and enforced."


Upon receiving consumer complaints, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection investigated the case and referred it to the Department of Justice for prosecution. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, multiple complaints from Wisconsin consumers concerning gas prices - including complaints against Krist Oil - were reported to the state.


In the court's judgment, entered upon a stipulation between the company and the Department of Justice, Krist Oil was ordered to pay $3,933. As part of the payment, $800 will be allocated to a Marinette County first responder's unit.


The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection conducted the initial investigation. Assistant Attorney General Nelle Rohlich represented the State in the court proceedings.