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Price Verification Program Assists Prosecutors in Fresh & Easy Civil Case

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Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM), together with their counterparts from 11 other counties, documented scanner and package overcharges at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores and presented the findings to prosecutors in the San Diego City Attorney’s office. Inspectors found Fresh & Easy was charging more for items at registers than posted in advertisements and on store shelves. On Jan. 22, Fresh & Easy stipulated to an order from the San Diego Superior Court to pay $833,136 in civil penalties and costs to settle the case. The court also ordered Fresh & Easy to establish a “$3 Off Program” to provide consumers with $3 off of any item for which they are overcharged or get the item free if it costs less than $3. AWM conducted 37 undercover inspections starting in January 2008 and received $4,685 in reimbursements for associated costs.