Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.


  • A bipartisan coalition of 32 attorneys general joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Competition Partnership, an effort to tackle anticompetitive markets in agriculture and related industries that result in higher prices for consumers. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack announced the partnership at the White House Competition Council meeting. The partnership provides funds from the Consolidated Appropriations Act to ensure sustained antitrust enforcement in the agriculture sector. This coalition follows the efforts of an attorney general coalition in December, 2021, where over a dozen attorneys general wrote a letter to the USDA and sought greater antitrust efforts in the agricultural sector, among other things.
  • A coalition of six attorneys general filed a comment letter in support of the Biden Administration’s development of a national Ocean Justice Strategy. The Council on Environmental Quality published a Request for Information on June 8, 2023 seeking public comment on the vision and goals of the Ocean Justice Strategy. The attorneys general letter responds to that request. The letter focused on 1) equitable public access to the oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes, 2) alleviation of the impacts of air pollution sources on ocean justice communities, 3) comprehensive identification of all disparate harms ocean justice communities face, 4) equitable management and protection of the oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes, 5) redress of past harms and injustices, 6) equitable adaptation to climate change, and 7) meaningful engagement of ocean justice communities in federal actions.


  • Arizona Attorney General Mayes announced that an owner of a Phoenix-based adult care home was sentenced to 21-years in prison for the homicide of a vulnerable adult entrusted to the care of the home. Valer Catuna is a part owner of the Artemis Adult Care Home. After an altercation between Catuna and the deceased resident, the home failed to contact emergency medical services for nine hours. Special agents from the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Section of the Arizona Attorney General investigated the case. Relatedly, Attorney General Mayes announced the formation of an Elder Affairs Unit in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office last month.


  • California Attorney General Bonta issued a legal alert to remind all employers of the state-law restrictions on employer-driven debt. Employer-driven debt refers to debt incurred via employment arrangements such as through training or equipment for the employee. The alert warns that these debt practices stifle competition for labor and are prevalent in industries such as healthcare, trucking, aviation, retail, and service industries. The California Labor Code requires that employers bear the cost of necessary expenditures incurred by employees as a direct result of discharging their duties. The alert also warns businesses to comply with the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and California Consumer Financial Protection law.


  • Colorado Attorney General Weiser recognized the U.S. Department of Education’s automatic loan forgiveness for students who attended Colorado-based locations of CollegeAmerica between January 1, 2006 and July 1, 2020. The Department found that CollegeAmerica’s parent company, the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, made widespread misrepresentations about the salaries and employment rates of its graduates, the programs it offered, and the terms of a private loan product offered to students. The Department of Education will provide $130 million in automatic loan forgiveness for almost 7,500 students. In August 2020, a Denver Judge found that CollegeAmerica’s marketing and admissions operations violated state consumer protection and consumer lending laws.


  • Illinois Attorney General Raoul announced a lawsuit against John Litchfield Concrete in Mahomet, Illinois for violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Home Repair and Remodeling Act. The lawsuit alleges that the company required down payments, but failed to complete or even commence work and provided no refunds. The charges were filed after several consumers complained to the Illinois Office of the Attorney General. The lawsuit seeks consumer restitution and $50,000 in civil penalties per deceptive or unfair act.


  • Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum hosted Oregon’s third national symposium on the student debt crisis in Portland, called Student Debt 3.0. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Student Borrower Protection Center and was attended by many state attorneys general offices, policy advisors, and national experts, with Seth Frotman, the general counsel of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, providing the keynote address. The prior two symposia were held in 2016 and 2019. Attorneys general discussed actions against companies with deceptive marketing and/or illegal loan practices affecting students.