State AG Monitor

State AGs in the News

Posted in Consumer Protection, Environment, State AGs in the News

Hot News

Save the Date | A Conversation with State Attorneys General Webcast
Wednesday, April 18, 2:00 PM (ET)

Join Doug Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland and incoming president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), for the next installment of “A Conversation with State Attorneys General,” Dickstein Shapiro’s new webcast series. State AG Practice Partner Divonne Smoyer will interview General Gansler about his role and priorities as Maryland’s chief legal officer. General Gansler will also answer questions from the audience. An invitation and details will follow.

Consumer Protection

FTC Commissioner Calls for Closer Cooperation with State AGs on Consumer Protection

  • FTC Commissioner Julie Brill stressed the need for closer coordination with AGs on consumer protection issues during an address she gave at the annual Spring Meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, DC.
  • Commissioner Brill noted several recent successes resulting from federal and AG cooperation but emphasized new challenges, particularly information privacy, would warrant even closer coordination between regulators.

Missouri AG Sues National Tax Preparation Company for Withholding Refunds

  • Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit against a national tax preparer for multiple violations, including not returning refunds to taxpayers and misrepresenting how much it would charge to prepare a consumer’s taxes.
  • In the lawsuit, AG Koster is seeking injunctions to ensure that all tax refunds that the company receives are distributed to taxpayers within 48 hours, as well as full restitution for consumers who have already been harmed by the company.

Missouri AG Sues Telephone Companies over “Cramming” Allegations

  • Missouri AG Chris Koster announced lawsuits against several companies alleged to have violated consumer protection laws through “cramming,” or the practice of companies billing consumers for unauthorized products or services through telephone bills.
  • The AG’s lawsuit alleged that these companies added charges to consumers’ bills without the person’s knowledge or authorization after the consumer entered into contests, sweepstakes, or other direct-mail or online promotions.

Idaho AG Settles Advertising Claims with Law Firm

  • Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden announced a settlement with a Utah law firm that files multi-plaintiff lawsuits against mortgage servicers over allegations that it violated state consumer protection laws in soliciting clients in Idaho.
  • The settlement resolves allegations that the firm directly contacted consumers by mail stating they were eligible to participate in a pending multi-plaintiff lawsuit while omitting that, in reality, the lawsuit had not been filed and the client would be required to pay a $5,000 retainer fee to join the potential case.

Oregon AG Settles Claims against Car Dealer

  • Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced an agreement with a Salem-based used car dealer and its owner for allegedly discriminating against consumers based on nationality.
  • The settlement results from allegations that the company allegedly asked Hispanic immigrants if they had a green card and made threats about their legal status when they attempted to return a car purchased from the dealer.

Environment

Ohio AG Settles Air Pollution Claims with Refinery

  • Ohio AG Mike DeWine announced a consent order with a refinery ending a long-running dispute related to the refinery’s compliance with state emissions and public nuisance laws.
  • Under the settlement, the company has agreed to abide by the terms of four previous court orders from 2010 and 2011; provide the public non-trade secret and non-confidential documents and other information about facility improvements and progress on the company’s website; and pay a civil penalty and enforcement costs.

Wisconsin AG Settles Water Protection Claims with Property Owner

  • Wisconsin AG J.B. Van Hollen announced a judgment against a property owner stemming from violations of state waterway and wetland pollution laws as a result of the owner’s construction of an artificial pond.
  • The property owner was assessed fines for allegedly filling in protected wetlands and will be required to dismantle an artificial pond allegedly constructed without proper permits from the State Department of Natural Resources.