The Gardena Recycling Center has agreed to pay $20,000 in penalties and court costs in a settlement with the district attorney's office over allegations that the company cheated customers by misrepresenting the weight of metals it purchased.
The company, which purchases scrap metal for recycling, admitted no wrongdoing in settling the civil consumer protection lawsuit, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Martin Herscovitz.
The company, located at 1538 West 134th St., was under investigation by the Los Angeles County Department of Weights and Measures because of violations cited during spot checks in 1981 and 1983, Herscovitz said.
"If a consumer offered to sell what actually amounted to 100 pounds of scrap aluminum, the recycling firm would weigh the metal on their own scale and allegedly report a weight of only 80 pounds, shorting the customer by 20%," Herscovitz said.
Neil Campbell, attorney for Semen A. Moross and Joseph Koch, owners of the center, said the 5-year-old company will continue to operate.
"My clients have not admitted any wrongdoing and will abide by the law," Campbell said. "The amount of money to be paid is just a small fraction initially demanded by the D. A.'s office."
Campbell said the district attorney's office originally asked for $80,000 to $100,000 in fines. Herscovitz would not comment on details of the settlement.