The Santa Monica city attorney office Consumer Protection Unit has filed misdemeanor charges against six stores for allegedly charging more than posted prices on items in their stores.

Each store is accused of charging at least $1 more than the posted price on at least one item in a random inspection by county inspectors who purchased several items at once.

Accused are:

– Borders, allegedly overcharging on two out of eight items; total overcharge was $12.48;

– Bebe, allegedly overcharging on one out of four items; total overcharge was $21;

– Carlton Cards (American Greetings Corporation), allegedly overcharging on one out of seven items; total overcharge was $9.74;

– Video and Audio Center (M and J Mayer, Incorporated), allegedly overcharging on one out of five items; total overcharge was $2;

– Second Spin (Record Town Incorporated), allegedly overcharging on one out of seven items; total overcharge was $2; and

– Gap, overcharging on one out of seven items; total alleged overcharge was $7.

The six stores were arraigned Wednesday, December 8th, in LAX Superior Court.

“It’s unfortunate that it was only last year that Bebe, Carlton Cards and the Gap were convicted of the exact same charges, and they still can’t pass inspection,” said Santa Monica deputy city attorney Eda Suh.

Borders has also been previously cited for similar violation in Santa Monica and other cities in the county, Suh alleged.

The charges were filed under a business and professions code that makes it a crime for businesses to charge more than the posted price.

Each violation carries a maximum fine of $1,000.

Each store that violates the law must also post a notice of violation in its store window for 60 days.

“During the holiday season, retailers get creative in how they attract customers into their stores and get them to buy,” Suh alleged. “These random inspections show that stores don’t always charge the prices posted in the stores.

“It is really important that consumers check their receipts, especially during the holiday season.”

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