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September 16, 2008

More Information Requested From Retailers across the State

LITTLE ROCK- Friday, in the face of Hurricane Ike, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel raised concerns about price gouging at the gas pumps. In an effort to address that concern, General McDaniel asked Arkansans to send his office photographs and other documentation of what they believe to be unreasonable gas prices. Arkansans quickly responded to the call to action.

Since Friday, the Attorney General's office has received over 1450 phone calls, and over 2400 text messages and emails. As a direct result of the information sent in by citizens, the Attorney General's office is issuing over 30 subpoenas to retailers across the state seeking information with regard to their increase in gas prices. Each recipient has 20 days to respond.

The office wants to stress that the investigation is preliminary and it cannot yet state that any of the subpoena recipients engaged in illegal price gouging. It is believed, however, that the requested information will shed light on whether that is in fact the case.

"In the event I find sufficient evidence of illegal price gouging, I will be making demand upon those entities to make restitution and pay penalties for the violations," said McDaniel. "If they refuse, they will be sued."

On Friday, Governor Mike Beebe declared a state of emergency for the entire State of Arkansas, triggering the price gouging statute for the next 30 days. McDaniel encourages citizens to continue use their cell phone cameras and document evidence of what they believe to be price gouging and email it to, text a picture to 501-539-0969, or they can call 800-482-8982.