Scales at issue in N.J. probe

Keith Loria Jul. 1, 2010, 3:00pm


NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - More than 1,600 summonses were been issued by the New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures regarding allegedly inaccurate scales that misweighed items were found during a statewide inspection of jewelry and gold sellers.

New Jersey's Precious Metals Task Force alleges that the inaccurate scales at many of these establishments registered lower weights than what the items actually weighed. This allowed the business to pay less to consumers for their gold and jewelry, it is alleged.

New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow says that a consumer complained in June about one such business and what he believed to be an inaccurate measuring of his item. This led to a series of unannounced inspections at jewelry stores throughout the state and for transient buyers, who normally work out of hotels.

"Some of the buyers defrauded consumers, short-weighing their items and likely paying them less than the true value of the items," Dow said. "We found violations statewide and we're putting the industry on notice that we won't tolerate the cheating of consumers."

During the sweep, scales with springs mounted under the weighing platform, which resulted in items being weighed inaccurately, were confiscated, Dow says.

The civil penalty for each violation conviction ranges from $100 to $500, with the court setting the exact penalty.

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