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Getting a refund? Ventura County settles dispute with Home Depot over handling of gift cards

Prosecutors claimed the home improvement retailer failed to offer refunds for gift cards with a balance of $10 or less, as required by state law.

Home Depot has reached a court settlement with Ventura County and three other California counties over what prosecutors say was a violation of gift card laws.

Investigators say the stores failed to give customers the opportunity to cash out gift cards valued at less than $10. State law requires the refunds be made available.

The settlement calls for Home Depot to pay $750,000 in penalties, restitution, and investigative costs.

The company will be required to program cash dispensing registers to automatically cash out gift cards valued at less than $10. The settlement also calls for the company to put refund information on the gift cards, and on signs in the customer service area of stores.

Prosecutors say Home Depot cooperated with the investigation, which included Ventura, Los Angeles, Sonoma, and Contra Costa Counties.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.