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Michigan’s attorney general says five Detroit-area gas stations located within two miles of each other participated in a price-fixing operation. Bill Schuette on Thursday announced criminal charges had been filed against the owners or operators of five Madison Heights stations. Schuette says the stations all set their gas prices within a penny or two on at least five days in February and March.

The attorney general’s office says it began the investigation after a tip from another Madison Heights station owner who was pressured to participate. Each of the five stations and owners/operators face five counts of violating Michigan’s antitrust law. Each count is punishable by up to two years in prison. Fines also are possible of $10,000 for individuals and up to $1 million for the companies.

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