Sentencing Scheduled in Ralphs Overcharging Case

Ralphs Grocery Co. entered a no-contest plea last week

Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011  |  Updated 7:30 AM PDT
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Sentencing is scheduled Wednesday for Ralphs Grocery Co.,  which pleaded no contest to overcharging customers for prepackaged and weighed  products at stores throughout Los Angeles.

The no-contest plea was entered last week on behalf of the grocery store  chain to 62 charges, including 19 counts of mislabeling; 18 counts of selling  items that weigh less than they are supposed to; 15 counts of false  advertising; and 10 counts of offering items for sale that weight less than  they are supposed to, according to Frank Mateljan of the Los Angeles City  Attorney's Office.

The plea -- which involved both misdemeanor charges and infractions --  came shortly before the case was scheduled to go to trial. The company is  looking at possible fines of up to $43,000.

In a statement, a Ralphs spokeswoman said company representatives had  "spent countless hours working with the City Attorney's Office to try to reach  a settlement agreement that was acceptable to both our customers and their  office."

"Today, we are pleased to announce that all of the unfounded  allegations against our parent company, Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co., have  been dropped and Ralphs has agreed to plead no contest to 62 infractions and  misdemeanors in order to conclude this matter," said Kendra Doyel, Ralphs'  group vice president of marketing.

Doyel added that the company believes the charges involved "isolated  events," but has "redoubled all of our efforts to ensure accuracy."
 

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