Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.
- A coalition of 14 attorneys general, led by Attorney General Kwame Raoul, filed an amicus brief in the case of Gregory T. Angelo, et al. v. District of Columbia, et al. supporting the District of Columbia’s prohibition on carrying firearms on public transportation, including its Metrorail transit system and stations. The brief argues that states have the authority to protect public safety by regulating firearms in “sensitive places” where they pose unique dangers.
- A coalition of 21 attorneys general, led by Attorney General Rob Bonta, filed an amicus brief in Fund Texas Choice v. Paxton in support of a motion for preliminary injunction filed by reproductive rights advocates seeking to halt enforcement of several Texas anti-abortion laws. The coalition argues that Texas residents, as well as Californians, who are temporarily in Texas for school, work, or vacation, have the right to travel to pro-reproductive rights states to access legal abortions.
- A coalition of 17 attorneys general, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York announced an agreement with the Biden administration’s Department of Energy that updates energy efficiency standards for 20 categories of common consumer products and commercial equipment, including residential furnaces, microwave ovens, room air conditioners and laundry machines.
- A coalition of 21 attorneys general announced an open letter to President Biden and the CEOs of American Express, Mastercard, and Visa denouncing their recent decision to allegedly discriminate against one type of vendor over another by adding new merchant category codes for gun retailers. The letter expressed concern that adopting a new sales code for gun stores would harm the constitutional rights of gunowners and potentially violate consumer protection and antitrust laws.
District of Columbia
- District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced a lawsuit against Liberty Tax, for allegedly violating the Consumer Protection Procedures Act by engaging in deceptive advertising and predatory pricing practices. The complaint seeks an injunction, restitution, and civil penalties.
- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued citations totaling over $51,000 to three Korean food stores for allegedly violating wage and hour and child labor laws. Peabody Losoon Park, Inc. dba Losoon Park, and its owners Losoon Park and Mili “Terry” Kim were issued nine citations for various labor violations including failure to pay wages, pay minimum wage and overtime, furnish and keep true and accurate payroll records, issue a suitable paystub, provide earned sick time, obtain a valid work permit for working teens, and for the employment of a minor past 8:00 p.m. without supervision.
- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that St. George Pharmacy and its owner, Atef Ayoub, allegedly engaged in a fraudulent scheme to bill the state’s Medicaid Program and other private and government-funded insurance plans for prescriptions for which they never possessed the inventory to fill. As a result, the pharmacy received approximately $442,000 in inappropriate reimbursement from various insurance plans.
- Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that Summit Management, LLC, the owner of nine manufactured home parks across Minnesota, agreed to comply with state law and retract eviction threats. Summit Management allegedly began conducting stringent and invasive inspections of residents’ homes across many of its parks. Following the inspections, Summit Management sent mass notices to residents with demands to perform time-consuming and expensive work on their homes. The Attorney General’s Office contacted Summit Management over what appeared to be multiple violations of Minnesota law related to manufactured-home park rentals and requested that the company cease and desist its eviction threats.
- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that the Securities Division within the OAG has filed a regulatory action against Nexo, Inc. and Nexo Capital Inc., (collectively, “Nexo”) a cryptocurrency interest account provider. The OAG alleges that Nexo violated the South Carolina Securities Act by offering and selling unregistered or unqualified securities in the form of its EIP accounts and that Nexo and its co-founders misrepresented and omitted material facts about the EIP accounts.