Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.
- Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, urged Arizona consumers to be aware of potential tax-related scams, and the Office published tips for handling scams, including fake IRS calls.
- Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody advised Floridians to refrain from using public Wi-Fi when accessing personal and financial files or apps online. In this alert, Attorney General Moody outlined the most common public Wi-Fi hacking scenarios.
- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul issued guidance to Illinois residents designed to help them safely file tax returns, and urged residents to exercise caution before providing personally-identifyiable and financial information online.
- Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita co-authored a letter to Indiana residents, which outlined the Office’s concerns about potential consumer protection issues within the conduct and terms of the GoFundMe platform.
- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that a finance company has agreed to provide more than $930,000, in debt relief and restitution to resolve allegations that it was illegally leasing dogs in Massachusetts. The settlement includes Monterey Financial Services, LLC commitment to waive the outstanding debt held by consumers, totaling approximately $700,000, and the full transfer of ownership of the dogs to hundreds of Massachusetts residents.
- New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an advisory to landlords reminding them that they cannot raise rents if they accepted or plan to accept funding from the State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was recently expanded in the State’s budget. Landlords who accept payments from the program are prohibited from raising rents for one year after the receipt of the funds.
- Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost provided warned consumers about travel scams during the peak travel months, and published a brief timeline of Ohio’s consumer protection laws.
- Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro publicized a settlement in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with a waste removal company that allegedly illegally charged and collected container removal fees from some of its customers.
- Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha will testify in support of legislation currently before the General Assembly that will increase penalties for wage theft and misclassification, joining State labor leaders in a push to protect Rhode Island workers, taxpayers, and business owners. The bill, H 7677, proposes to reclassify knowing or willful instances of wage theft over $1,500 from a misdemeanor to a felony.
- Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced that his office has reached settlements with two different online sellers of electronic cigarettes for violations of Vermont’s Delivery Sales Ban and Vermont’s Consumer Protection Act. Under the settlements, the companies resolved claims that they sold electronic cigarettes, e-liquids, or other tobacco paraphernalia to individual consumers and agreed to pay $215,000 in total civil penalties.
- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that his office has reached a $99 million settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an opioid drug manufacturer involved in an ongoing trial in Kanawha County Circuit Court.