From the Charleston Gazette today:
Police: Clerk cut gas price for family
By Davin White
South Charleston police say gas prices dropped to .001 dollars a gallon for one clerk’s friends and family.
On Sunday morning, South Charleston Police arrested clerk Madeline Jordan, 25, of Nitro and five of her family members and friends after she allegedly sold them gas at a rate of 10 gallons per penny.
The owner of the Spring Hill BP alerted police Thursday that he was losing money at an alarming rate and feared he would have to file for bankruptcy protection, according to South Charleston Patrolman C.A. Crowder.
Police did not wish to release the owner’s name.
The store is on U.S. 60 at the west end of town near Jefferson, Crowder said.
The owner estimated that he’s lost more than $40,000 in about six months, Crowder said. Receipts led investigators to monitor Jordan’s Sunday work shift. She starts at 7 a.m. and could change the rate customers were charged for gas, Crowder said.
Crowder said they found five vehicles Sunday morning hauling between four and seven gasoline containers each, with about 25 in all. Each of the gas containers could hold three or more gallons of gas, he said. Some of the drivers arrived by 6:45 a.m. and started pumping gas before the store even opened at 7 a.m., Crowder said.
Police charged Jordan, Mary Catherine Jordan, 58; Clifford Parker, 47; Vonnie Oldham, 38; Glennis Fields, 39; and John Jordan III, 27, each with fraudulent schemes, a felony.
Crowder said Madeline Jordan is not related to Fields. She may be related to Parker, he said.
The six suspects are from the Nitro, Dunbar and Leon areas.
Madeline Jordan may also face additional charges, Crowder said.
All six were sent to the South Central Regional Jail on Sunday, Crowder said.
Note: all involved here are probably judgment-proof civilly. However, as far as restitution out of a criminal case, the more the merrier. In West Virginia, the monetary threshold between misdemeanors and felonies is $1,000.00. Certainly the clerk is above that threshold. But, it would be difficult to figure out who bought what gas as far as the records are concerned. That being said, it would be difficult to pin the felony against any of the individuals absent some sort of conspiracy-type charge. But then again, they could confess to stealing more than $1,000.00 worth of gas and they wouldn’t have to worry about the records. – John H. Bryan, Attorney at Law.