People v. Wilco Energy Corp.
Appellate Division of New York
728 N.Y.S.2d 471 (2001)
Wilco Energy Corp. (Wilco) (defendant) sold home heating oil to homeowners. In October 1999, Wilco offered customers a two-year contract for oil at a fixed price. About 143 customers entered into the two-year contract. In January 2000, oil prices rose sharply due to unexpected shortages and increased demand. Wilco attempted to raise prices on the two-year contracts. Customers complained, and the New York Attorney General (plaintiff) began an investigation. In response, Wilco reduced prices to the original contract price and provided customers with refunds. The Attorney General continued proceeding against Wilco, filing a suit in New York Supreme Court for injunctive relief, restitution, civil penalties, and costs. Wilco moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Wilco’s pricing problems were not fraudulent or widespread. Wilco also argued that the attempted price increases did not violate New York law. The Supreme Court dismissed the suit, and the Attorney General appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)
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