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    Flash Foods to Pay $82,000 in Gas Gouging Case

    Chain settles with the Florida attorney general over pricing in the days before Hurricane Ike.

    WAYCROSS, Ga. -- Flash Foods will pay $82,000 to settle an investigation by the Florida attorney general into potential gas price gouging preceding Hurricane Ike by 16 Flash Food stores in the state, the Florida Times-Union reported.

    The convenience retailer agreed to pay $40,000 to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund and $42,000 to the attorney general, the report stated. The state will use the funds for restitution to Flash Foods customers who purchased gasoline from Sept. 12 to Sept. 20, 2008, according to the report.

    Mike Huey, an attorney for Flash Foods, told the paper the chain faced gasoline supply issues and Flash Foods' prices were not out of line with its competition in the Jacksonville area at the time. He added Fast Foods decided it was better to end the investigation than fight a case.

    "It's strictly a business decision," Huey told the paper. "It will cost you more money and up to a year of your time to try the case."

    To receive a refund, customers must apply by April 1, and have proof of purchase, such as a receipt of credit card statement.

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