Sting operation catches Whole Foods overcharging customers

Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 @ 3:03 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 @ 3:18 PM


            A man walks into Whole Foods in Brooklyn on May 7, 2014, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A man walks into Whole Foods in Brooklyn on May 7, 2014, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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An investigation of Whole Foods stores in New York City uncovered "systemic" overcharging of its customers who purchased pre-packaged foods.

The city's Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) said Wednesday 89 percent of the food packaging it tested during the fall of 2014 were not in line with federal standards for the maximum amount "that an individual package can deviate from the actual weight," the Daily News reported. 

The overcharging dates back to 2010, according to the investigation.

"The overcharges were especially prevalent in packages that had been labeled with exactly the same weight when it would be practically impossible for all the packages to weigh the same amount. These products included nuts and other snack products (flavored almonds, pecan panko and corn nuts), berries, vegetables, and seafood," the agency said.

Inspectors weighed 80 different package types at eight different locations, and found all had mislabeled weights. 

A Whole Foods spokesperson, Michael Sinatra, denied that the company had done anything improper, saying the chain "never intentionally used deceptive practices to incorrectly charge customers."

The investigation comes after Whole Foods agreed to pay $800,000 in fines for a similar problem in California, the Daily News reported.

Read the report here.

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Thief creates spectacle, robbing bank in dress, purple scarf and hat

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:20 PM

Pittsburth police released this photo of the suspect in a bank heist Thursday morning.
Pittsburgh Police Department
Pittsburth police released this photo of the suspect in a bank heist Thursday morning.(Pittsburgh Police Department)

Pittsburgh police are searching for a thief who held up a bank wearing a woman’s dress, a purple scarf and hat and sunglasses.

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Pittsburgh Police released these photos of a suspected bank robber wearing a dress and a purple hat and scarf  during a heist Thursday morning.(Pittsburgh Police Department)

Police say the thief robbed a local bank Thursday morning around 10:30 and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

>> Related: Sheriff on little girl’s murder: ‘This case has weighed on us’

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding the suspected thief.

They’re asking anyone with information to call the FBI.

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Who is NRA head Wayne LaPierre and what did he say at the CPAC meeting?

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 1:33 PM

WATCH: NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre Talks at CPAC

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre took the opportunity to slam Democrats Thursday during a speech at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference meeting, saying they only “want more restrictions on the law-abiding.”
 

"They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security,” LaPierre said, a week after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
LaPierre told the audience that the NRA stood ready to provide guidance to schools free of charge on how to protect students. He took another dig at the Democrats and one at the news media saying what the NRA offered was “more” than anyone else has.
 

"We share a goal of safe schools, safe neighborhoods and a safe country," LaPierre said.
 

Later he told the crowd gathered at the annual meeting for conservatives that, "Evil walks among us” when speaking about school shootings.
Just minutes before LaPierre spoke, President Donald Trump tweeted that he supports the NRA and the work LaPierre is doing.
 

"What many people don't understand, or don't want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

Who is Wayne LaPierre? Here are a few things you may not know about him. 
 

  • Wayne Robert LaPierre Jr. was born on Nov. 8, 1949, in Schenectady, New York. His family moved to Roanoke, Virginia, when he was 5 years old.
     
  • He was raised a Roman Catholic.
     
  • He spent a good portion of his career as a lobbyist.
     
  • He volunteered for the 1972 presidential campaign of Democrat George McGovern.
     
  • He earned a master’s degree in government and politics from Boston College.
     
  • He was on the boards of the American Association of Political Consultants, the American Conservative Union, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
  • LaPierre became executive vice president and chief executive officer of the NRA in 1991. The NRA has 5 million members.
     
  • He once told a friend his dream job was to retire from the NRA and open an ice cream stand in Maine.
     
  • He is married. His wife, Susan, is also involved in the NRA.
     
  • He makes nearly $1 million a year in salary.
     
  • He hosts a weekly syndicated television program called “Crime Strike.” In addition, he has a weekly podcast and offers a short broadcast on gun rights every weekday.
    LaPierre says he opposes universal background checks, an assault weapons ban (as it was proposed in 2013) and any limits to access to semi-automatic weapons by law-abiding Americans.
     
  • He says he supports armed security guards in schools, creating a computerized universal mental health registry of those judged to be incompetent and Project Exile, which mandates severe sentences for all gun crimes, especially illegal possession.
    He is an author and has written several books on gun safety and gun rights.

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

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Watch Wayne LaPierre’s speech to CPAC

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:11 PM

What You Need to Know: CPAC

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.

Click here to listen to his full speech.

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NRA opposes raising minimum age to buy rifles

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 4:56 PM

WATCH: NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre Talks at CPAC

Officials with the National Rifle Association on Wednesday voiced opposition to any legislation aimed at raising the minimum age needed to buy certain rifles amid a renewed gun debate following last week’s deadly school shooting in Florida.

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In a statement obtained by The Hill, NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the focus should be on keeping guns out of the hands of “violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.”

“Passing a law that makes it illegal for a 20-year-old to purchase a shotgun for hunting or adult single mother from purchasing the most effective self-defense rifle on the market punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals,” she said.

The group argued that raising the minimum age would deprive people between the ages of 18 and 20 of “their constitutional right to self-protection.”

Authorities said Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old identified by police as the gunman in last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, legally bought the AR-15 rifle he used to gun down 14 students and three teachers. He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

>> Related: Florida school shooting: How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

The current federal minimum age for buying or possessing handguns is 21, but the limit is 18 for rifles, including assault-type weapons such as the AR-15.

Officials with the NRA did not address the possibility of raising the minimum age Thursday while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference. However, President Donald Trump endorsed the idea during a school safety discussion Thursday with state and local leaders from across the nation, The Associated Press reported.

>> Related: Who is NRA head Wayne LaPierre and what did he say at the CPAC meeting?

"We're going to work on getting the age up to 21 instead of 18," Trump said. "The NRA will back it and so will Congress.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, said in a tweet Wednesday that he was working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, on a bipartisan bill to raise the minimum gun purchase age for most Americans to 21 years old.

“A kid too young (to) buy a handgun should be too young to buy an #AR15,” he wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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