Petroleum Wholesale, Sun Development Charged with Defrauding Customers at the Pump

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has charged The Woodlands-based Petroleum Wholesale and Sun Development with fraud for unlawfully diluting gasoline.

Abbott says Petroleum Wholesale and Sun Development defrauded customers by diluting medium and premium grade gasoline with regular unleaded fuel, a process known as cross-dumping.

Laurie Saathoff is a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office.

“The staff with the Attorney General’s office discovered more than 1000 instances in which the defendants cross-dumped fuel at service stations — most of those in and around Harris County — and the State believes this has been happening, this was happening between 2005 and at least 2008.”

The State also charged a number of individual defendants in the case, including John W. Cook, the owner of both companies.

Petroleum Wholesale sells gas and diesel fuel under branding agreements with ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and ChevronTexaco, as well as under its own brand, Sunmart.

Map of locations in and around Harris County where cross-dumping occurred
Map of locations in and around Harris County where cross-dumping occurred.
Map provided by the State Attorney's Office.

For more information, view the State's lawsuit against Petroleum Wholesale, L.P. and related defendants.

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Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...