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Ralphs pleads no contest to overcharging customers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ralphs Grocery Co. has pleaded no contest to overcharging customers for prepackaged and weighed products at stores in Los Angeles.

The city attorney’s office said Wednesday that the grocery store chain entered pleas Monday to 62 misdemeanor charges, including false advertising, mislabeling and selling items that weigh less than they should.

Ralphs says the company worked with prosecutors for hours to reach an acceptable agreement.

Ralphs’ vice president for marketing, Kendra Doyel, says the charges involved “isolated events.”

The case originally named Ralphs’ parent company, the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., but Doyel says those charges have been dropped.

City prosecutors alleged that undercover inspections at 14 stores found customers were being gouged.

Ralphs was cited for similar violations in 2008 and 2009 and paid nearly $17,000 in fines.

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