PROTECTING & PRESERVING FREE SPEECH & PUBLIC SPACE

Archive for July, 2015

T-Shirt Fraud on OFW

T-shirtShopFrom Venice Beachhead:
A total of eight T-shirt shops owned by the same person have opened on OFW recently. They sell the same generic merchandise, which is offensive, especially to women.

Owned by Liran Azoulay, an Israeli immigrant, these businesses were able to multiply so quickly because of the higher-than-average rent payments he offered to the owners: upwards of $10,000/month. Vendors of stores that own the lease of their shops were approached and offered upwards of $100,000 to sell the remainder of their leases.

When contemplating how someone can afford such high rent payments and enormous buying-out sums, the word on OFW is that some type of money laundering is behind the operation.

This business scheme had the ripple effect of raising all OFW shops’ rent payments. The remaining oldtime vendors are considering selling out while worrying whether they’ll be able to make it through the summer. Several tourists reported buying a shirt for $20 to have their credit card charged several hundred dollars.

Because this is a civil case, as opposed to a criminal one, the LAPD won’t help them. And the tourists don’t have the time or the know-how to go through the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to sue the unscrupulous business owner. Several warnings against these custom T-shirt businesses have been published online, on sites such as Trip Advisor and YouTube. What the LAPD is required to do is not allow these eight stores to play music with offensive, X-rated lyrics. They tend to do this loudly and obnoxiously, with no fear. Also, they stay open long after all other stores on OFW have closed: as late as 11pm. It was reported that some of the workers live in the stores, which is of course illegal.

We call on the LAPD to address and investigate this high-level crime that is infesting all OFW businesses and customers, local and foreigners alike. And we call on you, locals, to boycott these eight businesses.

Wishing they go away soon,
Rachel Bloomfield

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