Whole Foods tagged with $800k fine for overcharging in California

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Whole Foods will pay nearly $800,000 to settle allegations of overcharging customers, prosecutors in Los Angeles and Santa Monica announced today.

“We’re taking action to assure consumers get what they pay for,” Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “No consumer should ever be overcharged by their local market.”

According to prosecutors, Whole Foods will also appoint a pair of “state coordinators” to oversee pricing accuracy at stores throughout the state and designate an employee at each store to ensure pricing accuracy. The chain will also conduct random audits at stores four times per year.

The settlement agreement, which covers all 74 Whole Foods markets in the state, was filed in Santa Monica Superior Court and will remain in effect for five years, attorneys said.

Whole Foods officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

According to Los Angeles and Santa Monica prosecutors, the case began with a statewide investigation by state and county inspectors. The investigation found issues such as stores failing to deduct the weight of containers when charging for items at self-serve salad and hot bars; overstating the weight of products sold by the pound; and selling some items by the piece instead of by the pound as required by law.

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