Greedy consumers take advantage of gas station owner's misfortune


In the small northern Wisconsin town of Minocqua, people rushed to the local gas station to fill up late at night. The rush was on to buy gas at 33 cents a gallon at Trig's Minocqua Shell. In just under two hours, 42 customers made off with 586 gallons of bargain-priced gas.

An employee closing the station for the night meant to change the price of gas to $3.30 a gallon. He made a mistake, and the gas was being sold for only 33 cents a gallon. Drivers could pay at the pump with credit cards, and they didn't waste any time.

The police saw the rush of customers at the station and called the manager, who went straight to the gas station and stopped the pumps.

The store manager is upset, because she believes the customers were being dishonest by pumping gas at a price that they knew was wrong. Instead of trying to contact someone to stop the sale of gas at the wrong price, it seems the customers were busy contacting family and friends to rush to the station for cheap gas.

This mistake and the consumers who took advantage of it cost the owner of the business over $1,700. Who knows if anyone will do the right thing and come forward to reimburse the owner for the mistake. The manager of the business sadly reported that she knew many of the people who took advantage of the gas station.

Forensic accountant Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations through her company, Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners honored Tracy as the 2007 winner of the prestigious Hubbard Award and her first book, Essentials of Corporate Fraud, will be on bookshelves in March 2008.