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Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 11:14am

Federal Charges In Alleged Gas Scam

There are new charges in a multimillion dollar fraud case involving Southeast Georgia gas stations.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Savannah has charged five people in case.

The federal charges are the latest and most serious prosecution against the operators of the Cisco gas stations off Interstate-95 near the Georgia-Florida line.

Prosecutors say, customers of those gas stations were defrauded of at least $7 million because the operators miscalibrated pumps to deliver less fuel than customers thought they were buying. Among other allegations, an indictment unsealed Thursday says, the defendants also substituted regular for premium unleaded, bribed state fuel inspectors and sold non-BP gas with BP logos.

Attorneys estimate, about a million customers could have been cheated.

An arrest warrant remains out for the stations' operator, Fairley Cisco, and Winston Cisco.

Michael Clark has been arrested in the case. Two others also face federal charges.

The defendants also face a state civil trial and a federal class-action lawsuit related to the alleged pump-rigging.