Adam Radinsky, Deputy City Attorney
the former owner of Cozi Couch, a high-end custom furniture store with
locations in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, has pled guilty to four criminal
charges after a prosecution by the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office.
Monica store, formerly located at Seventh and Wilshire, went out of business in
March 2009. By that time, dozens of customers had paid thousands of dollars
each for custom furniture that was never delivered. Customers of the Los
Angeles store had similar problems.
paid 100 percent down, by cash or check, for furniture that was to be designed
and built at a later date.
pled guilty to false advertising and doing business without a license and was
sentenced at the LAX Superior Court on March 5, 2010. Under a plea agreement
with the City Attorney’s Office, Hazarian will provide refunds and merchandise
to former customers totaling more than $100,000.
court-ordered sentence included these terms:
Hazarian was placed on probation for four years.
He must pay cash restitution to former customers in the total amount of
$80,856. This amount will be divided proportionately between the approximately
45 former customers of Cozi Couch who paid cash or check and did not receive
merchandise that was promised. (Customers who paid by credit card were already
reimbursed by their credit card companies.)
Hazarian had furniture made and delivered to eight of the former customers to
satisfy their claims.
• Hazarian will perform
200 hours of community service.
three managers of the Santa Monica store were also sentenced to perform
community service. Cori Iturribarria, Jaime Seoane, and Nelson Freytes each
pled No Contest to operating without a business license and were placed on probation.
Attorney’s Office originally filed the charges against Hazarian and the other
men in October 2009.
Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit had been investigating the company and its
owners dating back to early 2009. Consumer Affairs Specialist Paula
Rockenstein, working with the state Bureau of Home Furnishings and the Santa
Monica Police Department, investigated the customer complaints and reviewed the
company’s records. More than 50 former customers filed complaints with the City.
is a cautionary tale for consumers in two ways,” said Deputy City Attorney Adam
Radinsky. “First, paying 100 percent down before an item or service is
delivered is very risky. Second, paying by cash or check means that there’s no
way to dispute the charges and get a refund if things go bad.”
charges can be reversed if merchandise is not delivered.
Attorney’s Office cautions all consumers to avoid making substantial down
payments whenever possible – and to never pay a business 100 percent down by
cash or check.
primary goal has been to get the maximum possible value in the form of money
and merchandise back to the former customers of Cozi Couch,” Radinsky said. “We
are confident that this agreement resulted in the best outcome available to us
for the former customers.”