LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has filed multiple criminal charges against the owners of an Eagle Rock gas station and their delivery company for allegedly selling adulterated gasoline that directly damaged at least eight vehicles.
“Substandard gasoline puts drivers at risk of serious car malfunctions, or even accidents,” said Feuer. “We’re going to hold any gas station or supplier that cuts corners and harms consumers accountable for their illegal practices.”
Akop Akopyan, 54, and Gloria Cubides, 54, the owners of a then branded 76 Gasoline Station located at 1871 Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock, and their delivery company MJ Tank Lines, Inc., were each charged with six criminal counts for misrepresenting the grade and quality of gasoline sold at the location. If convicted, each could face up to two years and six months in jail and $5,000 in fines.
The City Attorney alleges that at least eight customers of the gas station experienced car trouble shortly after fueling at the location. An inspection by an independent mechanic verified the gasoline as the source of the problem. The California Department of Weights and Measures conducted an investigation following complaints from the victims. On three separate inspections, tests of the fuel in both the gas station tank and the delivery truck found the fuel had heavy concentrations of water and sediment.
State and county agencies routinely conduct random motor fuel quality sampling throughout the state. Motor fuels, e.g., gasoline, diesel, and the various biofuel blends, are required to comply with a large number of quality specifications to help assure proper and satisfactory operation of the vehicles.
Customers who believe they may have been recently victimized by merchants selling adulterated petroleum products are encouraged to make a complaint with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) at (916) 229-3000, or contact the City Attorney's Office for further information.
Deputy City Attorney Nicholas J. Karno of the City Attorney’s Environmental Justice Unit is prosecuting the case. Arraignment is scheduled for March 24, 2016 in Department 47.