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Fuel Company Accused of Cheating Drivers

By Shelley Kofler

Dallas – A company with gas stations across the state is facing a huge fine and possible prosecution, following an investigation into drivers being swindled at the pump. KERA's Shelley Kofler has more.

The Texas Department of Agriculture says it launched Operation Spotlight last weekend after routine checks at Sunmart gas stations found fuel pumps shortchanging drivers.

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples says the closer inspection found 990 Sunmart pumps cheating customers by as much as a tenth of a gallon for every five gallons purchased.

Staples believes the company knew exactly what it was doing.

Staples: Apparently they were calibrating the pumps to not give customers everything they were paying for. And when you have a company that is cheating over half of it's customers on more than 60-percent of their pumps that is a very serious violation.

Staples says his agency shut down the non-compliant pumps, which included those at Sunmart stations in Rockwall, Johnson and Ellis Counties.

The company now faces a fine of more than $100,000, and possible prosecution by the state's Attorney General. Sunmart management could not be reached for contact.

Shelley Kofler, KERA News