Monterey County

Seaside thrift store settles false advertising case

SALINAS, Calif. - A Monterey County man who misled patrons of his used goods store in Seaside has settled a false advertising case with the District Attorney's Office.

Oscar Malarin operated St. Jude's Thrift Shop from December 2013 to May 2014.

Advertisements in the store and online encouraged consumers to donate
used goods to the store and stated that "proceeds will go to St. Jude's Children Hospital [sic] will be helping us in a good cause."

Members of the public donated used goods to the store, believing the store was affiliated with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a non-profit entity based in Memphis.

However, no such affiliation existed.

Prosecutors say the store accepted approximately $1,500 to $1,700 worth of used goods from the public, but the store hasn't yet generated a profit.

In 2011 and 2012, prior to opening the store, Malarin personally donated $100 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He donated $500 in March and per this settlement, will donate another $1,500.

"I apologize to any customers who feel they were misled," Malarin said. "The used goods store operated by me and my family has been renamed 'Here Today Gone Tomorrow' and is to be operated on a clearly for-profit basis going forward."

He said he did not mean to mislead the public. 

"We had desired for our operations to benefit this charity but did not understand the legal complexities and costs associated with forming a nonprofit to support this charity," he said.

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