Kwik-Chek Food Stores, agent face federal price-fixing charge

A federal grand jury charged a Bonham, Tex., convenience store company and one of its agents with conspiring to fix retail gasoline and diesel fuel prices in Antlers, Okla., the US Department of Justice said on Sept. 19.

A federal grand jury charged a Bonham, Tex., convenience store company and one of its agents with conspiring to fix retail gasoline and diesel fuel prices in Antlers, Okla., the US Department of Justice said on Sept. 19.

It said that the indictment, which was filed in federal district court in Muskogee, Okla., said that Kwik-Chek Food Stores Inc. and its agent, Jarrod (Judd) Thomas, conspired from as early as 2002 to June 2007 to fix prices with competing retailers in Antlers.

Telephone calls by OGJ Washington Pulse to Kwik-Chek's offices in Bonham for a comment were not returned.

The company sells and distributes oil products at retailers in Oklahoma and Texas, including two outlets in Antlers, a southeastern Oklahoma community near the Texas state line, according to DOJ. It said that the indictment charges that Thomas and some co-conspirators discussed and agreed to raise, fix and maintain gasoline and diesel prices sold to retail customers in Antlers.

Kwik-Chek and Thomas were charged with a single count of violating Section One of the Sherman Antitrust Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and maximum fines of $1 million for individuals and $100 million for corporations, DOJ said. It said that the maximum fine may be increased to twice what was realized from the crime or twice the loss suffered by victims if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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