were down again this morning on the NASDAQ exchange
as the upmarket national grocery continued to face accusations it has been systematically overcharging customers in New York.
The New York Department of Consumer Affairs accused Whole Foods on June 24 of overstating the weight of some of its prepackaged products sold in New York stores. The New York Daily News broke the story
, which revealed that the investigation dates back to at least 2010. The New York consumer affairs agency slapped Whole Foods with an $800,000 fine.
Whole Foods denied the allegations, saying it was ready to "vigorously defend itself" and that the company "never intentionally used deceptive practices to incorrectly charge customers."
DCA Commissioner Julie Menin said her department's inspectors "tell me that this is the worst case of mislabeling they have seen in their careers." Menin said DCA testing revealed that 89 percent of tested packages were not in line with federal standards. According to a statement from the DCA:
"The overcharges were especially prevalent in packages that had been labeled with exactly the same weight when it would be practically impossible for all of 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."