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AG Subpoenas Possible Gas Gougers

The North Carolina Attorney General has subpoenaed seven gas stations for possible price gouging and expects many more to join the list by week's end. The first stations to receive subpoenas are accused of charging customers as much as $7.32 a gallon. Governor Mike Easley triggered the North Carolina price gouging law on Friday. Since then, Attorney General Roy Cooper says his office has received 2,800 customer complaints. "I serve notice to all sellers of gasoline throughout the distribution chain, that we will investigate and enforce North Carolina's price gouging law," warned Cooper. "So think twice before setting unreasonably excessive prices." Over the weekend AAA Carolinas recorded Charlotte's average price for a gallon of regular at a near-record high of four-o-four. Cooper notes market disruption from Hurricane Ike may be to blame for some of the increase. The seven subpoenaed stations have 10 days to justify their high prices and could face penalties of up to $5,000 if found guilty of gouging. Cooper says more stations will receive subpoenas later this week.