Nevada AG Masto to Chair Conference of Western Attorneys General
- At the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) meeting in California last week, Nevada AG Catherine Cortez Masto was elected to serve as Chair of CWAG for the upcoming year.
Kansas AG Fines Out-of-State Contractors for Alleged No-Call Act Violations
- Kansas AG Derek Schmidt announced that his office has issued fines totaling $50,000 against two out-of-state construction companies based on allegations that they violated the Kansas No-Call Act.
- As part of its consent judgment with the state, Walley’s Heartland Construction must pay $10,000 in fees and penalties based on allegations that the company solicited consumers on the Do-Not-Call list after a damaging storm. Countrywide Shingle and Siding also must pay $40,000 in fees and penalties for allegedly soliciting consumers about roof inspections.
Arizona Company Agrees to Stop Soliciting Loan Services to Arizona Consumers
- Arizona AG Tom Horne recently announced that his office has reached an agreement with Double C’s, LLC, doing business as Lowrate.com, whereby the company will stop soliciting loan services to Arizona consumers.
- The agreement is based on allegations that Double C’s solicited Arizona consumers for payday loans by obtaining personal information from consumers that it provided to a third party to later be sold to payday lenders despite representing that the consumers’ information would be protected from unauthorized use.
New Jersey AG and American Express Petition Supreme Court Regarding State Use of Abandoned Gift Cards
- In the latest development over a dispute regarding New Jersey’s ability to claim the value of unused gift cards and travelers checks, New Jersey AG Jeffrey Chiesa and American Express have separately petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court over a 2010 New Jersey law mandating that issuers of gift cards and traveler checks transfer the remaining balance of the items to the state after they have been unused for five and three years, respectively.
- In January, the Third Circuit ruled on an appeal by American Express and by the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association and the New Jersey Food Council and upheld the shorter abandonment period for the state to seize unspent travelers checks. The Third Circuit also affirmed an injunction prohibiting the retroactive application of the law to existing gift cards or stored value cards and prohibiting card issuers from being required to report the address of the location where the gift card was purchased when the owners are unknown. The court found that the lower court did not err in failing to enjoin the law’s data collection provision, which required card issuers to obtain at least a customer’s zip code at the time of purchase.
- Governor Chris Christie recently signed into law Senate Bill 1928, which, inter alia, amends the 2010 law by increasing the abandonment period to five years, limits the proceeds presumed abandoned to 60% of the card value, and imposes a four year moratorium on the collection of zip codes at the point of purchase.
FL AG Obtains Settlement from Nursing Schools
- Florida AG Pam Bondi recently announced that the JLF University schools and their principals have agreed to pay $67,000 in civil penalties and $469,000 in restitution to settle the state’s lawsuit alleging violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
- The lawsuit was based on allegations that the students enrolled in the nursing schools without knowing that they would not be eligible for a Florida license because the JLF nursing program did not have state approval. As part of the settlement, the schools are prohibited from misrepresenting qualifications and programs.
29 States and D.C. Settle with McKesson Corp. Over Alleged Medicaid Fraud
- Drug wholesaler McKesson Corp. recently agreed to pay $151 million as part of a settlement it entered into with 29 states and the District of Columbia based on claims that the company inflated the prices of brand-name prescriptions drugs.
- The settlement agreement resolves allegations made in a 2005 qui tam suit that McKesson fraudulently inflated the average wholesale price of over 1,400 brand-name prescription drugs, causing Medicaid to overpay for reimbursements.
States vs. Federal Government/Healthcare
Oklahoma AG Moves to Lift Stay on Litigation Over Affordable Care Act
- Last week Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt announced that his office has filed a motion to lift a stay on the state’s lawsuit challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- The State has asked the court to lift the stay and allow the state 30 days to determine its next steps in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June, previously reported here.