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 21 attorneys general filed an amicus brief supporting former employees of Saks department stores who were harmed by agreements between Saks and other sellers of luxury brand goods — including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada — not to hire former Saks employees. These agreements are commonly referred to as “no-hire agreements” or “no-poach agreements.” The appeal, Giordano v. Saks Inc., involves a proposed nationwide class of workers that would include employees at Saks stores in California and is currently pending in the Second Circuit after the employees lost at the district court.
- Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes advised veterans to take advantage of possible benefits under the PACT Act for exposure to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances by filing a claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by August 9.
- Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser publicized that his office won a court ruling ordering an Aurora-based company, PropDoks, and its owner, Erdis Moore, III, to temporarily halt operations at its Denver storefront after an investigation found the company engaged in fraudulent and deceptive trade practices. The ruling also froze company assets. Extensive investigative work by the Consumer Protection Section in the Colorado Department of Law found the company promised to create nearly any false document, assuring customers that “We Make Proof of Almost Anything.”
- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed an application seeking leave to appeal an order preventing her from proceeding with an investigation of Eli Lilly and Company’s insulin pricing practices. Lilly has used two past decisions of the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) to assert the Michigan Consumer Protection Act is inapplicable to its sale of insulin.
- Darius Whitlow was sentenced on August 1, 2023, in Emmet County Circuit Court to 29-60 months in prison for his role in a cell phone theft scheme and was taken into custody at the time of sentencing, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced. The Honorable Jennifer Deegan presided over the sentencing, during which Whitlow pled guilty to Organized Retail Fraud, False Pretenses up to $1,000 and less than $20,000, and Identity Theft. Whitlow had perpetrated a scheme in Emmet County using fake IDs to purchase cell phones from stores.
- New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella publicized that Stephan Condodemetraky, 54, of Bedford, pleaded guilty and has been sentenced in the Rockingham County Superior Court to two class A felony counts of Theft By Unauthorized Taking and one class A felony count of Theft By Deception as part of a fully negotiated plea agreement. Mr. Condodemetraky was the founder, owner, and president of the now-defunct companies that did business as “Dusty Old Cars.” Starting in 2015, the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau of the New Hampshire Department of Justice received a large volume of consumer complaints against Mr. Condodemetraky and Dusty Old Cars.
- New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced that a state grand jury again indicted Wildwood’s mayor, a former mayor, and a city commissioner in connection with their allegedly fraudulent participation in the State Health Benefits Program, reinstating charges that had been dismissed without prejudice last month.
- Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost praised the Federal Communications Commission for imposing a record-breaking $299,997,000 fine against a multiplayer robocall enterprise, marking a notable victory in the collaborative battle against such illegal operations.
- Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond publicized that Oklahoma City law firm Foshee & Yaffe has been selected to represent the State of Oklahoma in possible legal action related to potential market manipulation and illegal conduct that gouged consumers of billions of dollars during Winter Storm Uri. The firm was selected after Drummond ordered the first-of-its-kind Request for Proposal process conducted by the Office of the Attorney General.
- Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry announced major developments in the OAG’s lawsuit against home improvement contractor, Gillece Services, recently issued by the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. The Court has found Gillece and its owner, Tom Gillece Sr., to be in violation of the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act and the Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Law, as the OAG alleged in its ongoing suit, initially filed in 2020.