Numerous Sunmart gas stations across the state – including in Royse City – have cheated Texas consumers by systematically overcharging gas customers and giving them less fuel than purchased, the Texas Department of Agriculture announced July 22.
The department’s investigation, dubbed “Operation Spotlight,” found that 47 of the 86 Sunmart stations in Texas cheated customers during a three-day operation that ended last Sunday.
According to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, whose office is charged with checking fuel pumps, the weekend investigation found 990 pumps were rigged to favor Petroleum Wholesale, which operates gas stations under the name Sunmart, by as much as one-tenth of a gallon for every five gallons sold. Pumps found to be in violation were immediately shut down by state inspectors.
“I strongly suspect this was an intentional act,” said Staples.
“At a time when families are struggling to purchase fuel, I am sure all Texans would agree with me that despicable violations such as these are repulsive and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office is investigating, Staples added, noting that his office could fine the company as much as $100,000.
Sunmart, the operating name for Petroleum Wholesale, also operates gas stations in Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. Staples said he has alerted officials in those states to his findings.