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AGO News Releases for 2014
Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced they are triggering dispute resolution after the federal government Friday formally rejected Washington state’s plan to amend a 2010 consent decree governing the retrieval and treatment of high-level radioactive and chemically hazardous waste at Hanford
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the state is rejecting the U.S. Department of Energy’s March 31, 2014 proposal to amend the 2010 consent decree governing the retrieval and treatment of high-level radioactive and chemically hazardous waste at Hanford.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined a coalition of attorneys general from 13 states that sent a letter yesterday to the leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. The letter objects to proposed changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) that would strip states of the power to protect their citizens from dangerous chemicals.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office and Department of Social and Health Services today issued the following answers to questions about the status of the Rekhter v. Washington Department of Social and Health Services case:

Hundreds of thousands of Washington state consumers to receive full refund and additional benefits

After receiving consumer complaints the Attorney General’s Office began an investigation that led to resolution of alleged violations of the Consumer Protection Act by DISH Network.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis has ruled that a Clark County sex offender is a sexually violent predator and should not be released into the community.
In a trial starting this week in Clark County Superior Court, the Washington Attorney General’s Office is seeking to civilly commit a Clark County sex offender and prevent his release into the community.
Trial started Monday in Pierce County Superior Court in a case where the Washington Attorney General’s Office is seeking to civilly commit a Pierce County sex offender to prevent his release into the community.
The Attorney General’s Office has secured a guilty plea, full restitution and $1,045 in additional investigative fees from a Douglas County woman charged with embezzling $4,379 from the Waterville School District.
Gov. Jay Inslee today announced that he is appointing Tanya Thorp to King County Superior Court.  Thorp has worked for 12 years for the Attorney General of Washington as an Assistant Attorney General.
Stevens County Judge Pat Monasmith today sentenced former Colville Police Officer Rex Newport to 29 months in prison and 36 months in community custody after Newport pled guilty to several felonies and misdemeanors in February.
April 1, 2014 > Be financially fit this April

AGO & BBB help consumers during Financial Literacy Month 

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office has teamed up with Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington for Financial Literacy Month. 

The Attorney General’s Office today filed charges in King County Superior Court against a Federal Way man the state alleges fraudulently obtained more than  $15,000 from the state and federal government in three different schemes involving Medicaid, food stamps and social security.
Trial starts today as the Attorney General’s Office seeks to keep a Kitsap County sex predator confined at Washington’s Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators.

Issues proposed revision to 2010 Consent Decree
AGO joint release with the Governor's Office and Department of Ecology

OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson today issued new demands to the U.S. Department of Energy to ensure timely Hanford cleanup in the form of a proposed plan to revise the 2010 Consent Decree. The proposal aims to prevent the federal government from delaying cleanup of Hanford’s radioactive and hazardous tank waste.

Legal action taken by the Washington State Attorney General (AGO) against foreclosure trustee Quality Loan Service Corp. of Washington (QLS) has stopped unfair and deceptive business practices. QLS is one of the largest foreclosure trustees in Washington state.
The Attorney General’s Office today released a formal Attorney General’s Opinion regarding the impact of Initiative 1185 on the Transportation Commission’s authority to set tolls and ferry fares.
Requires training for thousands of public officials to improve transparency and reduce lawsuits

 Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s bill to strengthen Washington state’s open government laws by requiring training for public officials was signed into law today by Governor Jay Inslee with strong bipartisan support. The law takes effect July 1, 2014.

New laws will help protect veterans against Pension Poacher scams and increase economic protections for military servicemembers

Two bills requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson to protect veterans and military families were signed into law today by Governor Jay Inslee. The bills received broad bipartisan support. The new laws will take effect June 12, 2014.

A fast-moving phone scam called the largest of its kind is targeting taxpayers across the country. Victims have reported threats of license suspension, arrest and deportation.

Shines light on dangers of mixing caffeine and alcohol

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that a multi-state settlement has been reached with Phusion Projects, LLC., Jaisen Freeman, Christopher Hunter, and Jeffrey Wright (collectively, “Phusion”).

As donors consider contributing to relief efforts for the Snohomish County mudslide tragedy, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Secretary of State Kim Wyman are urging consumers to be on guard against scam artists who try to take advantage of the situation.
“On behalf of the Office of the Attorney General, my heart goes out to the friends and families of those lost in the Oso landslide as well as those who have not yet been rescued. We are grateful for our first responders and for all who continue to work tirelessly to locate missing residents and protect against future disasters.”

Fortune 500 company will adopt new policy effective April 1, 2014

After Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a petition in court regarding its investigation of O’Reilly Automotive Inc.’s policy of not providing healthcare benefits to the same-sex spouses of its Washington employees, O’Reilly announced it will now extend healthcare coverage to same-sex spouses of its employees in Washington and other states recognizing marriage equality. This new healthcare policy is effective April 1, 2014.

O’Reilly refuses to provide records requested by the Attorney General

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office today filed a petition in King County Superior Court to enforce a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) issued to O’Reilly Auto Parts.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson made the following statement regarding his meeting this morning with Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and Governor Jay Inslee regarding progress on Hanford cleanup.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Pension Poacher Prevention Act today passed the Legislature with strong bipartisan support. This measure addresses the growing problem of “pension poachers” who try to scam elderly veterans. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Requires training for public officials to improve transparency and reduce lawsuits
Bill now heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law

Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s bill to strengthen Washington state’s open government laws by requiring training for most public officials has passed the Legislature and is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

A bill jointly requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee to increase economic protections for Washington’s military personnel and veterans passed the Legislature today with strong bipartisan support. The Governor looks forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits his desk.

Release compliments of the Dept. of Labor & Industries

A Bothell landscaper who claimed he was suffering from an on-the-job injury has admitted to stealing state workers’ compensation benefits.

AGO offers multiple ways to help consumers

It is almost impossible not to be a consumer. Whether a purchase is made online or in a store down the street, whenever you engage in some kind of business transaction you are a consumer.

Vessel sunk near Finley, discharged fuel and oil into Columbia, cleanup exceeds $100K

KENNEWICK—Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced criminal charges today in Benton County District Court against the owner of a former salmon fishing trawler who abandoned his sunken vessel in the Columbia River near Finley, Wash. in July 2013. This is the first state-initiated derelict vessel prosecution in Eastern Washington.

Consumers encouraged to file claims to receive share of $310M settlement

Estimated $500,000 returned to Washington state agencies

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that consumers may now file claims to recover money from the manufacturers of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) computer chips. These consumer payments will settle multi-state antitrust allegations that the manufacturers conspired to fix prices.

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau are partnering up for National Consumer Protection Week, March 2-8. Both agencies are committed to providing Washingtonians with tools to protect themselves against growing scams and helping people make better purchasing decisions.
The Attorney General’s Office on Friday filed charges in Thurston County Superior Court against a woman the state alleges billed Washington Medicaid for more than $87,000 in healthcare provider services while living in Nevada.
A new email phishing scam making the rounds nationwide has hit Washington state, and this one is disguised as a utility bill.
Colville Police Officer Rex Newport today pleaded guilty to multiple felony and misdemeanor charges after several women accused him of sexual misconduct while on duty.
The Attorney General’s Office will make opening statements today in a trial to determine whether a Skagit County sex predator should remain confined at Washington’s Special Commitment Center.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is making opening statements this afternoon in a trial to determine whether a Snohomish County sex offender should be confined to Washington’s Special Commitment Center (SCC).
The Attorney General’s Office has charged a Pierce County landscaper with failing to pay workers’ compensation insurance after one of his employees was injured on the job.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a $173 million global settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals. Endo makes the Lidoderm 5% patch commonly used in treating shingles. Washington's share of the settlement is more than $1 million, which will be split between Washington’s State Medicaid program and the federal government.

Personal stories of NW families struggling to make ends meet and avoid foreclosure highlight  need for community involvement to help Thurston County families stay in their homes

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions are pleased to announce the screening of the foreclosure documentary American Winter in Olympia, Wash.

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has recovered $20,000 from Rudy O. Corella, Jr., owner of Ultra Mega Corp to resolve allegations that Ultra Mega Corp engaged in a number of deceptive business practices in violation of the Washington state Consumer Protection Act.

AGO, BBB and AARP partner to combat romance scams

As more people go cyber to find love, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO), the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and AARP warn of an uptick in reports of romance scams. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, romance scam victims lost more than $55 million in 2012. To combat this growing epidemic, consumer protection groups are spending Valentine’s Day warning singles about the dangers of “catfishing.”

“Washington’s Constitution and state statutes grant the governor significant powers over the fate of individuals sentenced to death,” Ferguson said.
The Washington Attorney General’s Office filed a petition in Grant County Superior Court today seeking to civilly commit a Grant County sex offender and prevent his release into the community. Rickey Powell, 29, has been convicted of three sexually violent offenses against young children since 1996.
Are you puzzled by a missed mobile call from Antigua, Barbuda, Jamaica or other exotic locations? No, you have not won a trip to the Caribbean.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed a lawsuit against California company Labor Standards Compliance Office (LSCO) and its principal, Fangliang Cui, for alleged violations of the Washington State Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

Press release courtesy of the Department of Labor & Industries

An asphalt paver who went door to door in Snohomish County offering customers “a really good deal” now faces upset homeowners and criminal charges of failing to register as a contractor.

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and a special assistant attorney general recovered $31 million for the State Investment Board (WSIB) in a settlement announced today related to the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, Inc.—the largest corporate bankruptcy in history.

After high-profile national data breaches, Attorney General’s Office encourages consumers to safeguard data

In recognition of Data Privacy Day, the Washington Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is urging businesses and individuals to take a moment to learn how to better protect information.

Consumers, keep an eye out for a post-holiday email scams carrying malicious malware disguised as a link to a helpful “change of address” form. Malware is software used to disrupt computer operation and gather sensitive information.
Attorney General warns to be wary of scams to follow

Neiman Marcus, a luxury specialty department store, has announced a payment card data breach. The store announced some of its customers’ payment cards were fraudulently used after making purchases at its stores.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed a motion to intervene in a civil lawsuit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
A King County woman was sentenced today to a month of community service and ordered to pay full restitution after being convicted of First Degree Theft and four other felony counts of Medicaid False Statement.  
In response to a request from Sharon Foster, chair of the Washington State Liquor Control Board, the Attorney General’s Office today released a formal Attorney General’s Opinion regarding local ordinances affecting new marijuana businesses in Washington. 
Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark today announced two sets of criminal charges against the separate owners of two derelict vessels that recently sank in Pierce and Kitsap counties, dumping hundreds of gallons of fuel into Puget Sound.  The charges are the first environmental crimes involving derelict vessels to be filed by the state of Washington in recent history.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Jerry Costello will determine whether there is probable cause to believe a local sex offender meets the definition of a sexually violent predator (SVP) at a 1:30 p.m. hearing this Friday.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that he would vigorously defend the constitutionality of Washington’s campaign finance disclosure laws— and the enforcement of these laws— against a challenge filed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) kicks off the first week of the Legislature’s 60-day session with six hearings on bills requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Ferguson and his staff will be testifying in favor of these bills throughout the week.
Target announced today that in addition to the payment card data breach which affected approximately 40 million shoppers, 70 million shoppers had other information taken--such as names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. The data breach occurred during the period of November to December 2013.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Washington has joined with other states and the federal government in a global settlement with CareFusion, a manufacturer of medical and surgical supplies and medical devices.
The Attorney General’s Office will make opening statements today in a trial to determine whether a Pierce County sex predator should remain confined at Washington’s Special Commitment Center.

Washington serves on settlement team, secures $98K for state Medicaid program

OLYMPIA — Washington state will receive a total of roughly $98,000 as part of a $15 million state-federal settlement with BioScrip, Inc., a pharmacy that provided prescription drugs to Medicaid patients.

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