Each week, the Crowell & Moring State Attorneys General team highlights important actions taken by state attorneys general. Here are the updates for this week.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Consumer protection

  • Washington DC Attorney General Racine submitted an amicus brief in the District of Columbia Superior Court case Muslim lawyers v. Facebook, which relates to allegations distorting its content moderation practices with respect to hate speech. Attorney General Racine is asking the court not to grant Facebook immunity from consumer protection law. Among other things, Attorney General Racine argues that federal law does not protect online platforms from liability for misrepresentation and misrepresentation.
  • California Attorney General Bonta announcement the condemnation of former company operators Student Loan Relief Department for their roles in a student loan aid scam and related computer crimes. The scam consisted of convincing borrowers to enroll and pay $ 1,300 when the programs were available for free, false allegations of association with the US Department of Education, and illegally accessing student borrower records on the Federal Student Aid website.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Antitrust and competition

  • Several attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission announcement an agreement with Vyera Pharmaceuticals and a former CEO, forcing the company to pay up to $ 40 million and barring the CEO from most roles in the pharmaceutical company for seven years. The company and its CEO have been accused of acting illegally and in a monopolistic manner in order to increase and maintain the price of the drug Daraprim.

Medicaid Criminal Fraud

  • California Attorney General Bonta announcement the conviction of the medical director of West Coast Counseling Services for the theft of over $ 2.8 million to Medi-Cal by submitting fraudulent claims for services that were not medically justified and / or not performed.

Environment

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Baker-Polito Administration announcement this cotton bleaching company Barnhardt manufacturing The company has agreed to pay nearly $ 1.5 million to settle claims it dumped concentrated sulfuric acid in the North River, killing many fish in the state. The regulations also include injunction measures, such as compliance with laws on the prevention of chemical accidents, water pollution and risk management at company facilities.

Fake ad

  • Iowa Attorney General Miller announcement regulations with security and commercial concierge companies Heritage Group, Microbial Heritage Control, LLC, SPMC, LLC, and an officer, resolving allegations that the group of companies violated consumer fraud law by falsely announcing that its cleaning process offered long-term protection against the transmission of the coronavirus to surfaces while he did not have a reasonable basis for these allegations. The settlement includes a $ 75,000 penalty, consumer refunds and an injunction.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Fake ad

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Shapiro announcement this THS Group, LLC, also known as Total home protection, and its owner agreed to pay $ 750,000 and change his business conduct in a settlement of alleged deceptive marketing practices. Among other things, the company has been accused of falsely advertising the services available under its contracts and falsely denying claims and refunds.

Lodging

  • California Attorney General Bonta announcement a $ 3.5 million judgment against a real estate investment company Wedgwood, resolving allegations that he illegally evicted tenants from properties purchased during foreclosure sales. The judgment also includes an injunction.

State AG News

  • Iowa Attorney General Miller was elected president of the National Association of Attorneys General. As a presidential initiative, he chose “Consumer Protection 2.0: Technological Threats and Tools”, which will help consumers tackle threats from digital technology and social media.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Civil rights

  • Washington DC Attorney General Racine announcement legislation that would strengthen the protection of civil rights by prohibiting companies and institutions from using algorithms that create discriminatory or biased results and prevent individuals from accessing critical opportunities.

Consumer protection

  • Florida Attorney General Moody announcement the resolution of an action against robocaller Lifewatch Inc., which falsely claimed that medical and warning systems were free and required consumers to pay cancellation penalties. The resolution includes $ 1.8 million in refunds and injunctions, such as a ban on telemarketing.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announcement nearly $ 51 million settlement against e-cigarette retailer Eonsmoke, LLC and its co-owners. The settlement resolves allegations that the company and co-owners targeted minors for the sale of vaping products advertised in a youth-friendly manner and failed to ensure that the shipments were received by someone from 21 years or older. The settlement also includes an injunction.

Environment

  • Attorney General of Wisconsin Kaul announcement an agreement with Kerry, Inc., d / b / a Red Arrow products, which requires the company to pay a fine of $ 90,000 for allegedly breaking state laws on controlling air pollution at a liquid smoke installation.

Fake ad

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey filed a complaint against the dental chain Aspen Dental Management, Inc., alleging that the company had engaged in deceptive advertising and marketing, including charging patients for “free” services and failing to fulfill alleged warranties. The lawsuit seeks an injunction, restitution, civil penalties and costs.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Consumer protection

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announcement consent judgments against an asbestos removal company Impresair environmental company and asbestos consulting company Environmentally safe engineering, resolve illegal asbestos removal claims and monitor driving. Consent judgments include up to $ 245,000 in penalties and injunctions, such as required employee training.

Saturday 11 December 2021

Gouging price

  • Kentucky Attorney General Cameron announcement activating the state’s hotline for price increases after tornadoes and inclement weather in Kentucky. The press release quotes Attorney General Cameron as saying: “We are activating the hotline to raise prices to help local communities respond and to ensure that no Kentuckians face predatory pricing when purchasing supplies of emergency. “