LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The owner of a Westside bakery has been charged with 24 criminal counts after he kept his business open following orders from county health inspectors that it be closed due to a rat infestation.

Peter Plotitsa, 53, was ordered to close his shop, The Cake Collection at 2221 Barry Ave., after health inspectors discovered rat droppings in January. Prosecutors say that Plotitsa, however, kept his store open in violation of the order, and that he failed to rid the business of rats and pigeons.

When inspectors returned in July, they found live rats, pigeons roosting, gnaw marks on the building and bird and rat droppings, the city attorney’s office said.

Plotitsa is being charged with four counts of illegally operating a business with a suspended license, five counts of failing to prevent the presence of animals, birds and vermin, four counts of unlawfully manufacturing food products without properly rodent-proofing the building, four counts of rodent infestation, three counts of contamination of food contact surfaces and four counts of failing to comply with an order.

Each count carries with it a potential maximum order of six months in prison or a fine of $1,000.

Plotitsa is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 20 in East Los Angeles.

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