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Furniture company forced to pay nearly $300k over defunct sister store's gas theft

gavel
Posted at 10:45 AM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 11:34:37-05

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Public Service Commission is forcing Regency Furniture of Brandywine to pay nearly $300,000, after an investigation revealed its now defunct sister store in Upper Marlboro had been stealing gas services for a decade.

In January 2007 the Washington Gas Light Company said they received no payment causing them to turn off gas and remove a meter from the store that formerly operated at 990 Largo Center Drive.

Later the company said it discovered a new unauthorized system installed at the location, which illegally restored the gas.

This apparently went on all the way through December 2017, at which point Washington Gas decided to remove all related piping connected to the location.

They say the services stolen over that span equaled over $290,000 worth of gas.

The problem was by that time, the Largo store had already closed resulting in the bill going to Regency Furniture of Brandywine instead.

They argued the stores were two distinct corporate entities and that the bill wasn't their responsibility.

Regency also cited the statute of limitations.

They ended up being overruled by the Commission’s Consumer Affairs Division and a Public Utility Law Judge, who felt otherwise.

Regency filed one more appeal to the commission, who on Monday upheld the initial decision.