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KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Three Travel Plaza stations along Interstate 95 that were closed twice this year by state regulators have reopened under new management and ownership by Patco's Energy Express.
While not responsible, the new owners will inherit a $500,000 fine related to Cisco Travel Plaza's failure to pay state fines relating to false gas pump gauges. State inspectors found that customers were shorted one quart of fuel for every five gallons pumped.
Under terms of the sale, Patco will pay the remaining fines due to the state in installments. While gasoline is now being dispensed, diesel fuel will not be available until later this month.
News4Jax.com reported that a civil complaint filed in early March by Brunswick Judicial Circuit, District Attorney Stephen Kelly accused 12 people affiliated with Cisco Travel Plaza of conducting a continuing criminal enterprise, including fraud and theft.
In addition to complaints that the Cisco pumps were "intentionally altered" to short customers on fuel purchases, customers who paid for premium-grade gasoline were actually dispensed lower-octane fuel, court papers revealed. Chief Superior Court Judge James Tuten has ordered the assets of the 12 defendants frozen pending the outcome of the case.