Alexandria Circuit Court Judge Donald H. Kent recently found Stereo World Audio and Tape Center in Alexandria guilty of criminal contempt for violating a permanent injunction order forbidding various fraudulent advertising and sales practices.
Kent said he intended to impose a 15-day city jail sentence on store owner Arvin Bielin and a $250 fine on Arvin, Inc.
"The contempt proceeding arose out of a George Washington Day Sale last February, following a permanent injunction last January, according to assistant city attorney Howard Middleton.
In August, 1976, owner Arvin Bielin and general manager George Bryant of Stereo World Audio and Tape Center, at 3250 Duke St., Alexandria, were indicted on four counts of felony fraud.
The criminal fraud indictment was dropped after a permanent injunction was granted last January. That injunction prohibits the owners and operators of Stereo World from engaging in various fraudlent practices, including misrepresentation of goods and services, false or misleading advertising, and the selling of used or defective items without identifying them as such in advertisements.
After the injunction was issued, according to the Alexandria Office of Consumer Affairs, Arvin and Stereo World Advertised a George Washington Day sale. Ten complaints about the sale were filed with the consumer affairs office. The Commonwealth's Attorney and City Attorney offices instituted the criminal contempt proceeding for violation of two counts of the injunction - forbidding advertising of used or reconditioned goods "without clearly and unequivocally indicating" their condition in the ad and advertising items either with the "intent not to sell" them at all or not at the advertised price, according to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney John Greenbacker.
At a Sept. 8 hearing four customers testified that they were unable to purchase CB radios and stereo turntables as advertised. One said that when he attempted to purchase a $19.95 CB radio, he was told that the sale price did not apply to new units, which were priced higher.