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Leader of shoplifting ring faces four-year prison sentence

BY Brae Canlen

A man suspected of stealing more than $100,000 worth of merchandise from 70 Home Depot stores pled guilty on Oct. 23 to a charge of organized retail theft in a Morristown, N.J. Superior Court, according to an article in the Daily Record.

Julio Arriola Suarez, 49, will face a four-year sentence at a Dec. 14 hearing as the result of his guilty plea, according to the article. He was charged with leading a group of four other men who stole items from Home Depot stores throughout New Jersey and in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia between 2011 and April 2012, when the suspects were arrested.

According to prosecutors, the shoplifting ring hit several Home Depot stores a day, “under-ringing” items through self-checkout and using various tactics to hide their activities from security cameras and store workers. Home Depot’s Central Investigation Team aided the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and local police authorities in breaking up the retail theft enterprise.

Suarez, a suspected undocumented immigrant from Central America, remains in custody. Three other men in the ring already pleaded guilty to third-degree shoplifting. A fifth suspect is a fugitive. 

The three defendants who previously admitted to shoplifting face sentences in November of 364 days in the Morris County jail and probation.

 

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FTC: Two paint companies mislead consumers over VOC content

BY Brae Canlen

Sherwin-Williams and PPG Architectural Coatings, two of the industry’s leading paint manufacturers, have agreed to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charge that they misled consumers to believe that some of their paints are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

According to an FTC press release, Sherwin-Williams and PPG make their “zero-VOC” claims through a variety of media, including brochures, point-of-purchase marketing, product labels and the Internet. Some of these materials are disseminated to independent distributors. The FTC contends that consumers most likely interpret the companies’ “zero-VOC” claims as applying to the final product — tinted paint.

In many instances, the FTC said, both Sherwin-Williams’s Dutch Boy Refresh and PPG’s Pure Performance paints contain more than trace levels of VOCs after the base paint is tinted. The complaints also charge the companies with distributing promotional materials that provided independent retailers with the means to deceptively advertise that the companies’ paints contain zero VOCs.

The proposed consent orders settling the FTC’s charges are the same for both Sherwin-Williams and PPG. First, they prohibit the companies from claiming that their paints contain “zero VOCs,” unless, after tinting, they have a VOC level of zero grams per liter, or the companies have competent and reliable scientific evidence that the paint contains no more than trace levels of VOCs. The definition of “trace” comes from the “trace amount” test included in the FTC’s recently released updated Green Guides for environmental marketing claims.

The FTC agreement will also require the companies to clearly and prominently disclose that the “zero VOC” claims apply only to the base paint, and that depending on the consumer’s color choice, the VOC level may rise. In cases where the tinted paint’s VOC level could be 50 grams per liter or more, the proposed orders require the companies to disclose that the VOC level may increase “significantly” or “up to [the highest possible VOC level after tinting].” In addition, the orders prohibit the companies from making any VOC claim or other environmental claim unless it is true and not misleading, and unless the companies have competent scientific evidence to back it up.

Finally, the proposed orders prohibit both Sherwin-Williams and PPG from providing anyone, including independent retailers or distributors, with the means of making any of the prohibited deceptive claims. The orders also would require the companies to send letters to retailers requiring them to remove all ads for the covered paints that have “zero VOC” claims and putting corrective stickers on current paint cans making these claims. 

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J.Swart says:
Nov-02-2012 06:45 pm

There is an awesome Zero-VOC
There is an awesome Zero-VOC by YOLO Paint. They are based out of Portland, Oregon. The base is Zero-VOC and the pigment to color the base is Zero-VOC.

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Simpson Manufacturing Q3 sales rise

BY HBSDealer Staff

Simpson Manufacturing reported net income of $13.0 million for the third quarter of 2012 compared with net income of $19.4 million for the third quarter of 2011, which included a $4.5 million gain on the sale of the Keymark equity investment.

Net sales increased 6.0% to $172.1 million compared with net sales of $162.4 million for the year-ago period. The increase in sales was primarily due to $8.8 million in sales from businesses acquired since December 2011 with the remainder primarily due to increased volume.

Sales increased in North America, due in part to recent acquisitions. Sales in Europe were flat, primarily due to sales from the recent European acquisition offset by decreases throughout the rest of the Company’s European operations. 

In the first nine months of 2012, the company reported net income of $36.0 million compared with net income of $46.0 million for the first nine months of 2011. Net sales for the nine-month period increased 8.4% to $512.5 million compared with net sales of $472.7 million for the first nine months of 2011 due in part to recent acquisitions.

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