The owner of two maid service companies is facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly overcharging the credit cards of customers who wrote negative online reviews, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Steve Yojin Yun — the 42-year-old owner of West Coast Maids and California Maids — is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 26 in Los Angeles Superior Court on seven counts of identity theft involving four alleged victims.
The charges stem from an investigation by the Department of Consumer Affairs into complaints from consumers who had arranged maid service through the online referral services provided by West Coast Maids and California Maids since 2013, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
The alleged victims, who posted negative reviews on the website Yelp, were allegedly contacted by a person identifying himself as “Steve,” an office manager.
The customers were asked to remove the negative reviews in exchange for a complete refund, and those who refused were charged again, the City Attorney’s Office alleges.
“Customers have a right to express honest views about a company,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “Illegally charging customers as retaliation for expressing their views is outrageous.”
If convicted of the charges, Yun could face up to seven years in jail and/or a $7,000 fine.
—City News Service
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