McBride Oil Co. Pays $10,000 Fine for Price Gouging

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McBride Oil Co. Pays $10,000 Fine for Price Gouging

LIVINGSTON, Ala. -- An officer of McBride Oil Co. paid a $10,000 fine for alleged price gouging at the pump in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but Sumter County District Attorney Greg Griggers wants him to plead guilty as well, reported The Tuscaloosa News .

Neither Jason McBride nor his attorney, John Russell III, were at the courthouse Monday for a hearing on a motion to dismiss the charge, according to the report.

Griggers told Sumter County Circuit Judge Eddie Hardaway Jr. that he received a check Friday as part of a settlement. But Griggers said he would not consider the matter closed until McBride pleads guilty to violating the state's pricing-gouging law, The Tuscaloosa News reported.

Hardaway said in the report he would review the statute and make a determination.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that in a phone interview Monday, Russell said he believed the matter had been settled.

A grand jury indicted McBride, secretary-treasurer of McBride Oil Co., on Sept. 27 for violating the pricing act on Aug. 31 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Griggers said McBride sold gasoline at $3.69 per gallon, according to the report.

According to The Tuscaloosa News , McBride has said the retail price of gasoline at two stores was briefly $3.49 based on his purchase price of $3.29 a gallon.

He waived his appearance at an arraignment on Oct. 19 and pleaded not guilty, according to the report.