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Assets frozen for Oxford oil company accused of scamming at least 30 customers

The state attorney general’s office today announced a temporary freeze on the assets of an Oxford oil company that allegedly scammed about 30 customers on their home heating oil contracts since 2006.

A complaint filed in Worcester Superior Court early this week claims that Action Oil & Septic conned consumers into signing unfair prepaid oil delivery contracts and failed to deliver enough oil to them, according to a statement from Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office.

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The company is accused of delivering only enough heating oil to last for about a week or two, telling the customers they did not get more because the company needed to supply all customers. However, the company allegedly made deliveries in full and on time to other customers who paid cash.

Coakley’s office reported that on Christmas Day, a disabled woman ran out of heating oil and was forced to go to a friend’s home overnight. The company allegedly responded to the woman’s calls only when the Oxford police intervened.

“This is more than just allegedly failing to fulfill a contract that clearly took advantage of consumers, this is about an irresponsible company that put the safety of families at risk during the coldest months of the year,” Coakley said in the statement.

The attorney general’s office is asking for about $112,000 from the company The office is seeking $75,000 in civil penalties and $37,000 in restitution to the victims.

Coakley’s office received four complaints about the company between 2006 and 2010. In 2011 there were 15 reports, and so far this year there have been 14.

Recordings at two of the phone numbers listed on the Action Oil & Septic website said the message inboxes were full.

Alli Knothe can be reached at aknothe@globe.com.
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