Logo and Link to Consumer Protection Unit Landing Page




March 17, 2004
 Adam Radinsky, Deputy City Attorney, (310) 458-88327

The City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit has filed misdemeanor charges against six more Santa Monica stores for charging more than the posted price on items in their stores. That brings to 15 the number that have been prosecuted since last December. Each store is accused of charging at least $1.00 higher than the posted price on items in undercover inspections by a County inspector.

Two of the stores pled no contest today to all of the charges against them.

Tower Records, located adjacent to the Third Street Promenade, admitted to overcharging on 3 out of 13 items purchased; the three items were rung up at $10.00, $5.00, and $4.00 higher than the advertised price. Tower will pay fines and penalties totaling $10,210.00.

Sally Beauty Supply, located on Lincoln Boulevard, was convicted of two overcharges out of nine total items. The store will pay total fines of $6,983.00.

The remaining four stores will be arraigned next month. They are:

  • Borders Books (charged with 3 overcharges out of 12 items);

  • 99c Only Stores (charged with 2 overcharges out of 15 items);

  • Puzzle Zoo (charged with one $39.00 overcharge out of 7 items); and

  • Planet Funk (charged with one $10.00 overcharge out of 5 items). 

The charges were filed under Business and Professions Code Section 12024.2, which makes it a crime for businesses to charge more than the posted price. Each violation carries a maximum penalty of $3,300.00.

Also, under L.A. County ordinance, each store that violates the law must post a notice of violation in its window for 60 days.

“These overcharge cases are among the most serious that we prosecute,” said Deputy City Attorney Adam Radinsky. “It’s a stealth crime because consumers often have no idea that they have paid too much – let alone that it’s crime for the store not to honor its posted price.”

Last December, nine other chain stores in Santa Monica were prosecuted for similar offenses. Those stores were: Gap, Barnes & Noble, Sears, Diesel, Carlton Cards, Walgreens, Urban Outfitters, Bebe, and Coffee Bean.

 # # #



This page was last updated on 02/28/11.