MADISON HEIGHTS (WWJ) – Five Madison Heights gas station operators have been busted for allegedly conspiring to fix prices at the pump. State Attorney General Bill Schuette says it’s a violation of Michigan’s Antitrust Reform Act.
“People are trying to put food on the table, you know, make mortgage payments and pay the bills, and the last thing you need is dishonest gas station operations trying to rip off Michigan drivers,” he said.
The following stations and owner/operators have each been charged with five counts of violating Michigan’s Antitrust Act.
· Spinx-Monster Oil #2 (12 Mile and Dequindre), Resident Agent Shady Mahm Abdelhamid (Pictured, top left);
· Sunoco-Bombay Party Shoppe, Inc. (11 Mile and John R), Resident Agent Wissam “Sam” Mansour
Shammami (Bottom, right);
· Marathon-Dequindre Oil Co. (Dequindre near I-696), Manager Farouk Ali Harajli (Bottom left) and,
· CITGO-Durga Lakeshmi Inc. (11 Mile and Dequindre), Manger Rengachari “Vijay” Vijayaraghavan (Top right);
· J & A Quick Stop (12 Mile and John R).
· The following individual owner/operator has been charged with one count of violating Michigan’s Antitrust Act: Bernard Yaldo” Jalal Yaldou (Top center), Manager of J & A Quick Stop.
Investigators found “artificially-set” prices within a penny or two of each other, but Schuette wouldn’t say much more.
“Some of those facts will come out in trial. But the message is, don’t rip off Michigan drivers. And, if convicted one these counts, it could be two years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each person,” Schuette said.
Schuette told WWJ another station owner in the same neighborhood tipped off investigators.