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AG Sues Oil Company for Failing to Honor Pre-Paid Contracts
January 22, 2008
NEWS RELEASE Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe announced that on Friday, January 28th, the State of Maine filed an Unfair Trade Practices Complaint against Nicholas Curro, d/b/a/ Price Rite Oil, d/b/a/ Veilleux Oil & Service, d/b/a/ Perron Oil
The complaint alleges that Mr. Curro (a) induced customers to enter into pre-paid contracts for heating oil by misrepresenting when and how the oil would be delivered; (b) failed to deliver oil according to the contract terms; and (c) failed to honor customers’ request for refunds.
The complaint further alleges that Mr. Curro failed to take reasonable steps to obtain and maintain the ability to fulfill the prepaid contracts he entered into with customers and that he specifically failed to maintain the required security for prepaid contracts for the delivery of fuel in violation of Title 10 Maine Revised Statutes Annotated (MRSA), Section 1111.
The complaint alleges that Mr. Curro actions violate the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act, Title 5 MRSA section 207.
The lawsuit filed by the Attorney General seeks restitution on behalf of the customers and prohibits Curro from (a) advertising, selling or distributing heating oil in Maine, (b) entering into prepaid contracts for any goods or services sold in Maine and (c) taking deposits in advance of delivering goods or performing services in Maine. The State also seeks a civil penalty of $10,000 for each intentional violation of the Unfair Trade Practices Act.
“Mr. Curro’s deceptive practices have not only resulted in a loss of money for Maine people, they have potentially put some people’s health in danger.” Rowe said. “As the price of heating oil climbs it is more critical than ever that dealers honor their contracts.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division initiated its investigation after receiving complaints from customers of Price Rite, Veilleux and Perron Oil. As of January 22, 2008, the Attorney General has received 124 complaints.
For information on your rights as a consumer of heating fuel, please visit www.maine.gov/ag
If you need information on help purchasing heating fuel dial 211 from any phone in Maine or visit Maine Housing Authority’s website, www.mainehousing.org.
David Loughran, (207) 626-8577