Large fuel scam estimated

WOODBINE, Ga. --- As many as 1 million customers were shorted on fuel purchases at three Camden County service stations since 2005, a Savannah lawyer said Thursday in court.

Robert Turner made the estimate as he argued against dissolving a court-ordered receivership that manages the assets of the three stations and others with an ownership stake in the businesses since 2000. The stakeholders are defendants in a civil racketeering lawsuit filed by District Attorney Stephen Kelley that parallels an ongoing criminal investigation into the three stations.

Mr. Turner, who is representing customers in a class-action suit against the stations, based his estimate on computer printouts from each fuel pump at the Cisco Travel Plaza truck stop and the adjoining Cisco Express station at Exit 6 off Interstate 95 at another Cisco Travel Plaza at Exit 1.

Records from computers in each pump show they were inaccurately recalibrated as many as 600 days over the time period. In the last instance, which led to state inspectors shutting the stations Feb. 12, the pumps at both truck stops were recalibrated at the same time, indicating more than one person was involved.

"There was no accident," Mr. Turner said.

Former Cisco employee Robert Clark, who maintained the pumps declined to testify, as did original owner Fairley Cisco.

Camden County sheriff's Capt. Wesley Walker, testifying with immunity, said Mr. Clark admitted to altering the pumps. Capt. Walker is Mr. Cisco's son-in-law.