H-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Mar 12, 2013 1:17 PM by Associated Press

So. California Better Business Bureau expelled

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Better Business Bureau has expelled a Southern California chapter after an investigation into an apparent pay-to-play scandal.

The Virginia-based consumer protection group announced Tuesday that BBB of the Southland, the nation's largest chapter, lost its right to use the BBB name and logo.

The chapter's chairman notified the national office last week that the chapter was resigning but denied there were widespread problems.

An ABC-TV investigation two years ago found the Los Angeles-area chapter gave the Hamas militant organization an A-minus after a blogger submitted its name and paid hundreds of dollars in memberships.

That probe also cited other business owners, including celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, as saying they were told they must become members to receive high marks.

The national group says it will serve the LA market.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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