TV Authority, a now-closed local electronics merchant, along with two of its corporate officers, Neil Bruce Kusens and Jason Palmer, have been named as defendants in a 14-count criminal complaint filed by the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office. The company was located at 410 Broadway in Santa Monica and sold high-end televisions and other electronics. In addition to the brick-and-mortar store in Santa Monica, the business sold merchandise over the Internet at the website tvauthority.com.
The complaint alleges that TV Authority and its officers violated state law by taking payments from numerous customers but failing to provide the merchandise – or a refund. The defendants are also charged with operating a business without a license. The situation was brought to the attention of authorities as a result of consumer complaints, said Deputy City Attorney Eda Suh.
In addition, Palmer is charged with operating a now-closed business called Arthouse Gallery without a license. That establishment was located at 416 Broadway, in the same building as TV Authority. “It opened in July 2006 and was set up as a showroom and a resource for its affiliated partners, interior designers, architects, and homebuilders to visit with their clients,” according to a statement issued by the City Attorney’s Office.
Each of the 14 charged offenses is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of six months in county jail and a fine of $1,000. The defendants are set to be arraigned in LAX Superior Court on December 4, 2007. They have been notified by a “cite in” letter, a not unusual procedure in misdemeanor cases, said Suh. Whether the defendants will actually appear will only be known come December 4.
The City Attorney’s Office is continuing to investigate the case, and it urges consumers who have lost money to TV Authority to immediately contact the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit at 310.458.8336.