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Ralphs, Kroger Accused of Weight Violations in L.A.

LOS ANGELES — The criminal branch of the City Attorney's office here filed a multi-count criminal complaint Wednesday against Ralphs Grocery Co. and its corporate parent, the Kroger Co., alleging they were overcharging customers on prepackaged and weighed products.

LOS ANGELES — The criminal branch of the City Attorney's office here filed a multi-count criminal complaint Wednesday against Ralphs Grocery Co. and its corporate parent, the Kroger Co., alleging they were overcharging customers on prepackaged and weighed products. Similar charges were filed against Ralphs in 2008 and 2009, for which the chain paid fines totaling nearly $17,000.

Meghan Glynn, a spokeswoman for Cincinnati-based Kroger, said the company “takes allegations such as these seriously. We are conducting our own investigation and will take corrective actions as necessary."

The latest charges followed undercover inspections at 14 Ralphs stores in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles County Department of Weights and Measures, conduced between Jan. 20 and March 9, which the city attorney said turned up 59 violations of the Business and Professions Code, including 14 counts of false and misleading advertising; 18 instances of unlawful computation of value; nine instances of selling prepackaged commodities in lesser quantities than represented; and 18 counts of false labeling.

Each defendant could face total fines and penalty assessments up to $256,000.

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