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AGO News Releases for 2014
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a $90 million nationwide agreement with T-Mobile, resolving allegations the company placed unauthorized third-party service charges on subscribers’ telephone bills.

SPOKANE — A Spokane County jury today convicted Michael Phillips of first degree rape. Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit won the conviction in a trial that began on Dec. 15.

 

OLYMPIA — Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom heard arguments today on two more summary judgment motions filed in the Attorney General’s Office’s consumer protection case against Arlene’s Flowers, a Richland florist, and its owner and operator, Barronelle Stutzman. 

 

SEATTLE — Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today offered the following statement in response to the announcement that Oklahoma and Nebraska have sued Colorado in the United States Supreme Court over marijuana legalization. Nebraska and Oklahoma allege that Colorado’s Amendment 64 and its implementing legislation regarding recreational marijuana is unconstitutional and preempted by federal law.

KELSO — The Attorney General’s Office has filed a petition in Cowlitz County Superior Court seeking to civilly commit a violent sex offender and prevent his release into the community. 

 

MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County Superior Court Judge John M. Meyer has decided that repeat sex offender Michael Bargas remains a dangerous predator and must continue to be confined in the State’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. 

 

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the appointment of Peter Lavallee as Communications Director for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.   

 

No sea engañado por "notarios" o "notarios públicos" que se aprovechan de los inmigrantes y sus familias.

OLYMPIA - El Procurador General Bob Ferguson, Rep. Luis Moscoso, D-1er  Distrito Legislativo, y la senadora electa estatal Pramila Jayapal, D-37o Distrito Legislativo, emitieron hoy una alerta al consumidor para residentes de Washington sobre posibles estafas dirigidas a los inmigrantes y sus familias.

 

MOUNT VERNON — Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit are in Mount Vernon, fighting to prevent a dangerous sex offender from being conditionally released into the community. 

 

OLYMPIA — Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom heard arguments today on three summary judgment motions filed in the Attorney General’s Office’s consumer protection case against Arlene’s Flowers, a Richland florist, and its owner and operator, Barronelle Stutzman. 

 

OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit filed a lawsuit today against a Wenatchee-based company that allegedly provided fraudulent training to dozens of school districts around the state, leading to tens of millions of dollars in false Medicaid claims. 
The defendants are Thomas and Sheila Reese, their company, JT Educational Consultants (JTEC), and several employees and contract consultants including Scott Adolf, Jack Hedgcock, Randall Hauff and Janine Welty.

 

Satellite radio company accused of misleading advertising, billing

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with the attorneys general of 44 states and the District of Columbia, announced today that Sirius XM Radio Inc. of New York has agreed to provide money back to eligible consumers and pay $3.8 million to the states to resolve claims that the satellite radio company engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices.

 

SEATTLE — In the next step of its challenge of Puget Sound Energy’s multi-year rate plan, the Attorney General’s Office today filed testimony recommending a lower profit margin that could ultimately save customers as much as $35 million every year.

 

 

Don’t be deceived by a “notario” or “notario público” who target immigrants and their families

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson, state Representative Luis Moscoso, D-1st Legislative District, and state Senator-elect Pramila Jayapal, D-37th Legislative District, today issued a consumer alert to Washingtonians about possible scams targeting immigrants and their families.

 

 

Attorney General’s Office presented arguments to defend I-502, uphold will of the voters

KELSO, Wash. — A fourth superior court judge today agreed with an opinion issued by the Attorney General’s Office earlier this year, concluding that nothing in Initiative 502 overrides local governments’ authority to regulate or ban marijuana businesses. This allows I-502 to continue to be implemented. Every court to consider this issue has now agreed with the Attorney General’s opinion.

 

SEATTLE — Although Washington has adopted some of the most comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation in the country, more research, training and outreach are needed in order to combat child sex trafficking, according to a new report.

 

SPOKANE — The Attorney General’s Office has reached a plea agreement with a former Spokane deputy prosecutor who helped a man avoid arrest earlier this year.

 

SPOKANE — The Attorney General’s Office filed charges today against a 76-year-old Spokane man accused of rape.

 

Attorney General’s Office presented arguments to defend I-502, uphold will of the voters

KENNEWICK — A third superior court judge today agreed with an opinion issued by the Attorney General’s Office last year, concluding that nothing in Initiative 502 overrides local governments’ authority to regulate or ban marijuana businesses.  Every court to consider this issue has now agreed with the Attorney General’s opinion.

BELLINGHAM — Repeat convicted child molester David Ackley has agreed he is a sexually violent predator, allowing a judge to confine him to the State’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson is sending the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and its contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), a Notice of Endangerment and Intent to Sue. Ferguson seeks to protect workers at the federal Hanford Nuclear Reservation from hazardous chemical vapors that continue to jeopardize worker health and safety.
PORTLAND, Ore. — This week, the Attorney General’s Office will defend rules requiring pharmacies to fill lawful prescriptions for time-sensitive medications.

Sex offender stashed rape kit near Gonzaga University, wrote about plans to rape and dismember adult store clerk

SPOKANE — A Spokane County jury has decided that repeat sex offender Shawn Botner is a dangerous predator and must be confined in the State’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. 

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee today announced that he is appointing Gretchen Leanderson to Pierce County Superior Court. Leanderson has served in the Washington State Office of the Attorney General since 1988 where she is currently the Division Chief of the AG’s Tacoma Division.
SPOKANE — After being contacted by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Shriners Hospitals for Children agreed that it will extend health benefits to same-sex spouses of its employees nationwide in states recognizing marriage equality. This new health care policy is effective Jan. 1, 2015.

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today joined a “friend of the court” brief opposing a lawsuit that threatens health care coverage gains under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

SHELTON — The Attorney General’s Office filed three misdemeanor charges today against a Tahuya man accused of using heavy machinery to fill and alter the course of the Tahuya River near his home without any permits.
TACOMA — The Attorney General’s Office has filed a petition in Pierce County Superior Court seeking to civilly commit a Tacoma-area sex offender and prevent his release into the community.
SPOKANE — Prosecutors from the Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Criminal Litigation Unit are in Spokane today for the start of a trial against a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy accused of insurance fraud.
OLYMPIA - Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Attorney General Bob Ferguson are urging consumers to be aware of scam artists exploiting the public’s fear of Ebola.

SEATTLE—Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued the following statement after today's deadly shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

 

TACOMA — Stephen Mason, owner of the derelict vessel the Helena Star, entered guilty pleas today to charges of abandoning a derelict vessel and discharging pollution into state waters. He was sentenced to 20 days of confinement (which may be served on electronic home monitoring) and two years’ probation, and is ordered to repay the state $300,000 towards the total cost of $1.25 million to remove the sunken vessel from the Hylebos Waterway in Pierce County. As part of the agreement, Mason will cooperate with Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) efforts to secure the remaining restitution from other Helena Star investors.

 

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today led a nationwide effort to urge Congress to pass legislation that would help prevent children from being trafficked on the Internet.
WENATCHEE — A second superior court judge today agreed with an opinion issued by the Attorney General’s Office last year, concluding that nothing in Initiative 502 overrides local governments’ authority to regulate or ban marijuana businesses.

OLYMPIA — Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Attorney General Bob Ferguson are urging Washington residents to make wise choices when giving money to charity, avoiding unscrupulous fundraising groups during the upcoming holidays and afterward.

WALLA WALLA — Repeat convicted sex offender Maverick Lanning has agreed that he is a sexually violent predator. He will be committed indefinitely to the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.

 

SPOKANE — A Spokane County jury has decided that repeat sex offender James Jones is a dangerous predator and must be confined to the State’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. In the interest of public safety, prosecutors from Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit have been fighting since February 2013 to prevent Jones’ release into the community.

 

WALLA WALLA — Prosecutors from Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit (SVP) are in Walla Walla County, fighting to prevent the release of a convicted sex offender.

 

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that hundreds of residents at 15 skilled-nursing facilities in Washington will benefit from an unprecedented multistate agreement with Extendicare Health Services, Inc. (“Extendicare”) and its subsidiary, Progressive Step Corporation (“ProStep”).
SEATTLE – Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Public Counsel Unit today challenged a $32 million electric rate increase proposed by PacifiCorp, which operates in Washington as Pacific Power and Light Company. PacifiCorp serves approximately 132,000 electric customers in Yakima, Walla Walla, Garfield and Columbia Counties. Public Counsel believes the 9.5 percent rate increase for residential customers is too high.

SOUTH BEND — The Attorney General’s Office has filed charges against a former Pacific County Sheriff’s deputy accused of misconduct on the job.

 

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a $105 million agreement with AT&T Mobility LLC under which the company agreed to stop allowing unauthorized third-party service charges to be placed on subscribers’ telephone bills.

SPOKANE — The Attorney General’s Office has charged a former Spokane County deputy prosecutor with rendering criminal assistance, a gross misdemeanor.

 

SPOKANE — At a trial beginning today, prosecutors from Attorney General Bob Ferguson's Sexually Violent Predator Unit (SVP) will allege that a Spokane man is a sexually violent predator who poses a danger to the community and should remain in custody.

 

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson are asking a federal judge to amend a 2010 agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy and establish new requirements for retrieving and treating Hanford’s tank waste and constructing new double-shelled tanks.
DUPONT, Wash. – October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As part of a global cyber security awareness campaign, Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office are partnering with STOP.THINK.CONNECT.™ to help digital citizens stay safe online.
OLYMPIA — In a case brought by the Attorney General, the owner of a wheelchair company that fraudulently delivered 119 used or refurbished wheelchairs to the poor and disabled across the state was convicted on felony charges Sept. 25 in Thurston County Superior Court.

SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson offered the following statement after today’s announcement that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will resign when his successor is confirmed.

 

SEATTLE — In the first enforcement action of its kind, Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing a Philadelphia-based online company for violations of the federal Restore Online Shopper’s Confidence Act (ROSCA) and the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

 

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson is warning consumers that phone scammers posing as legitimate computer technicians are on the prowl in Washington and other states across the country.

 

A federal judge in Tacoma has agreed with the Attorney General's Office that convicted South Hill rapist Kevin Coe is not entitled to a new trial. Coe will remain confined at the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.

 

OLYMPIA — A former Franklin County corrections officer will spend nearly a year in jail and have to register has a sex offender because of sexual misconduct with two inmates in the Franklin County Jail.

 

KENNEWICK — At the request of Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the Benton County District Court today ordered defendant Brandon Traner to pay the state $144,000 for the cleanup of a fishing trawler that Traner was recently convicted of abandoning in the Columbia River. Ferguson’s office obtained the first derelict vessel conviction in Washington state last month after Traner’s trawler, the M/V Forus, sank and released 50 gallons of diesel fuel and 8 gallons of motor and hydraulic oils into the Columbia,
SEATTLE – Attorney General Bob Ferguson has invited attorneys from around the state to meet with him about volunteering to provide legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children.
The Washington State Office of Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau have joined together to help consumers avoid a school book scam making the rounds to schools in Washington and across the country.
OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) recently convicted healthcare providers in four separate Medicaid fraud cases, holding accountable four defendants who did not provide the care they were paid to provide to elderly and other vulnerable adults.
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the state will not extend today’s deadline for resolving the dispute with the U.S Department of Energy over cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation. The state has extended the deadline twice already since negotiations began in March.

OLYMPIA — In a push to protect the civil rights of same-sex couples nationwide, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and 14 other state Attorneys General are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear three marriage equality cases.

 

OLYMPIA — Statement from Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Jenny Durkan’s resignation as U.S. Attorney

 

SEATTLE — A Pierce County couple who sold bogus continuing education trainings and certificates to hundreds of adult family home employees have been sued by the Attorney General’s Office.
SPOKANE — A Spokane County jury has decided repeat sex offender Scott Halvorson must be confined in the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.  In the interest of public safety, prosecutors from Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit have been fighting since 2012 to prevent Halvorson’s release into the community.
TACOMA — The Attorney General’s Office today presented arguments in MMH, LLC v. Fife in Pierce County Superior Court before Judge Culpepper. Solicitor General Noah Purcell gave oral arguments on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office.
OLYMPIA— Today Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in conjunction with a broad coalition of organizations, filed a motion in the Washington State Supreme Court to address the impacts of the court’s recent decision on psychiatric boarding. The motion asks the court to delay the effect of its decision so that the state can implement Governor Jay Inslee’s plan to make sure alternative care is available.
OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office yesterday filed a brief in the case of MMH, LLC v. Fife. The plaintiffs in this case seek to open marijuana businesses in Fife despite the city’s ban on such businesses. The city argues that it is not required to allow such businesses under Initiative 502. The city also argues that if I-502 does require it to allow such businesses, then I-502 is preempted by federal law. The AGO intervened in this case to defend I-502 and its proper interpretation.
SPOKANE — A Prosecutor from the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit in Spokane is fighting to prevent a dangerous sex offender from being released into the community.
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson yesterday asked the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Wash. for permission to file an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief in the J.E.F.M. v. Holder lawsuit. Ferguson believes that unaccompanied immigrant children — children under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when they are apprehended in the United States — should not be forced to represent themselves in complex deportation hearings in which the child’s future is at stake.
SEATTLE—Today the Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously for the State in two important pension cases.
KENNEWICK—Attorney General Bob Ferguson yesterday secured the first derelict vessel conviction in Benton County. The defendant, Brandon Traner, will serve 20 days in jail and pay restitution for abandoning a derelict fishing trawler in the Columbia River.
OLYMPIA — The Washington State Attorney General’s Office will vigorously defend I-502, the initiative legalizing marijuana, against an argument raised by the city of Fife. The city claims that the state law is invalid because it conflicts with federal law. If a court accepts that argument and it is upheld on appeal, it would mean the end of the state system for legal marijuana sales in Washington.
OLYMPIA – The sunken 167-foot Helena Star has been raised, patched, and towed to Seattle, where it is being scrapped and recycled, announced the Washington State Departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Ecology.
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today moved to intervene in three marijuana lawsuits filed against the cities of Wenatchee and Fife. Businesses that applied for marijuana licenses have sued these cities in Chelan and Pierce County Superior Courts to challenge city ordinances that block them from operating. The AGO is intervening to defend Initiative 502, not to support the plaintiffs’ or cities’ positions.
SEATTLE — A Snohomish County jury has decided that repeat sex offender Calvin Malone is a dangerous predator and must be confined in the State’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.  In the interest of public safety, prosecutors from Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit have been fighting since 2012 to prevent Malone’s release into the community.
OLYMPIA — The Washington State Attorney General’s Office has filed criminal charges against Michael Mann, owner of Wheelchairs Plus Inc., in Thurston County Superior Court. The AGO alleges Mann committed the crimes of First Degree Theft and Medicaid False Statement when he fraudulently provided 119 Medicaid recipients with used or refurbished wheelchairs while billing Medicaid as if they were new.  Mann billed the State Medicaid system a total of $606,980 for the wheelchairs.
OLYMPIA — A Forks resident who raised $300,000 for a non-profit dog rescue organization, but failed to register with the Secretary of State or produce required records of how the donations were spent, has been sued by the Attorney General’s Office for violating Washington’s Charitable Solicitations Act and Consumer Protection Act.
EVERETT — A Lynnwood woman must repay Washington state more than $200,000 for workers’ comp benefits she received fraudulently.
SEATTLE — The Public Counsel Unit of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office has challenged electric and gas rate increases proposed by Avista Corp.
OLYMPIA — The Washington Attorney General’s Office filed a petition yesterday in Kitsap County Superior Court seeking to prevent a repeat sex offender from being released into the community.
OLYMPIA — In a case being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit, a repeat sex offender has acknowledged that he is a danger to the community and will be civilly committed to the State’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed lawsuits against two mortgage rescue scammers that target struggling homeowners in Washington state.
Spokane – A Spokane woman stands accused of raking in more than $100,000 in disability benefits while working with her husband to operate his motel, and their nightclub and apartment building.
SEATTLE—Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit today against the makers of 5-hour ENERGY®, the popular energy drink. The AGO alleges they misled consumers with ads claiming that doctors recommend 5-hour ENERGY®, by implying the product is safe for teenagers and claiming that the product causes ‛no sugar crash’ when the companies’ own study showed it triggers a caffeine crash.
SEATTLE — An unregistered contractor must serve 30 days in jail for scamming homeowners who paid him thousands of dollars for home improvement projects that he never finished.
OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson joins other government agencies, advocacy organizations and private sector groups today, July 16, 2014, in commemorating the second annual Military Consumer Protection Day.
OLYMPIA—Negotiators from Washington state and the federal government have agreed to extend the dispute resolution period by 70 days, ending on Sept. 5.
OLYMPIA— Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit (SVP) begin trial this week in Lewis County Superior Court to determine whether a repeat sex offender should remain confined to the State’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy has reversed a key portion of a decision approving Puget Sound Energy’s multi-year energy rate plan, which could roll back automatic rate increases for PSE customers.
A Seattle contractor faces charges that he defrauded homeowners who paid him more than $45,000 to upgrade their bathrooms and kitchens, and do other home renovation projects.
SEATTLE—A Washington State Attorney General’s Office lawsuit has stopped deceptive business practices and will return money to over 11,000 Washington state consumers. These consumers purchased worthless food handler certificates from eFoodhandlers, Inc. that do not comply with Washington state law.
A former Franklin County Corrections Officer entered a guilty plea in Franklin County Superior Court in response to sexual misconduct charges filed by the Attorney General’s Office in late April. 
The Attorney General’s Office this week filed suit in King County Superior Court against Mandatory Poster Agency (MPA), doing business as Corporate Records Service, and its top corporate officers, for unfair and deceptive business practices in violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act after the company duped more than 2,900 Washington businesses into paying $125 each to comply with a phony government requirement.
The Attorney General’s Office will recover roughly $36,200 from a Snohomish couple who claimed to be collecting funds for charity but instead pocketed more than half of the money.
OLYMPIA, WA — A Cowlitz County jury has decided that repeat sex offender Ivan Walkowski is a dangerous predator and must remain confined to the State’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.  In the interest of public safety, prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit have been fighting since late 2012 to prevent Walkowski from being released into the community.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson has secured full restitution for consumers who lost money doing business with the now defunct Gill’s Furniture, a retail store formerly located in Tacoma, Washington.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Washington homeowners will share in $550 million secured for homeowners nationwide through a legal action against SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. by 49 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Schaller today ruled the state’s case against the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) could move forward, rejecting the GMA’s motion to dismiss the case in its entirety on constitutional grounds.
Negotiators from Washington state and the federal government have agreed to extend the 40-day dispute resolution period triggered under a 2010 court order to clean up high-level radioactive and chemically hazardous waste at Hanford.
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Human Rights Commission Executive Director Sharon Ortiz today released a joint letter to Washington state employers, insurance companies and benefit plan administrators regarding healthcare benefits.
“My sympathies go out to the victims of the SPU shooting, their friends, families and classmates. On behalf of our community, we appreciate the efforts of those who apprehended the suspect and saved lives.”
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced that legal action by Washington along with 44 other states has resulted in drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (GSK) paying the states $105 million to resolve claims of deceptive marketing and promotion of non-approved uses of certain drugs.
Attorneys from the Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit of the Attorney General’s Office were successful in persuading a Tri-Cities jury to prevent the release of a Franklin County sex predator who has been confined to the state’s Special Commitment Center for the past 13 years.
OLYMPIA—The Washington Attorney General’s Office started trial this week in Cowlitz County Superior Court seeking to civilly commit a Cowlitz county sex offender and prevent his release into the community.
The Washington Attorney General’s Office started trial today in Spokane County Superior Court seeking to civilly commit a Spokane area sex offender and prevent his release into the community.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson applauded new rules announced by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy today setting strong emission limits on existing fossil-fuel power plants to reduce pollution in the U.S.
Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jay Roof today ruled in favor of the Attorney General’s Office as it sought to keep a Kitsap County sex predator confined at Washington’s Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators.
The Attorney General’s Office today filed charges against a former Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) employee for allegedly using his access to confidential state databases to commit identity theft and steal more than $150,000 in unclaimed property through the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) ClaimYourCash.org website.
Personal stories of NW families struggling to make ends meet and avoid foreclosure highlight the need for community involvement and support
1880 Western Wear to refund approximately 117 consumers nationwide, at least 5 from Washington state.
An inmate at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center (CBCC) pled not guilty Friday to charges filed by the Attorney General’s Office, accusing him of repeatedly stabbing a corrections officer with a 4- to 5-inch metal shank.
A Pierce County landscaper must serve one year on probation and perform community service for failing to provide workers’ compensation coverage for an injured employee.

Identity theft is a growing problem nationwide, and Washington is no exception. In early March 2014 the Seattle Archdiocese learned that volunteers and employees at parishes and schools became victims of a tax-identity fraud scheme.

 

Today, the Washington Supreme Court held that the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for their employee’s religious practices.
Two Mount Vernon-area women, who provided interpretation services for Spanish-speaking injured workers, must repay the state thousands of dollars from a false billing scam.
The Attorney General’s Office is hosting a discussion with distinguished panelists regarding state Rep. John Goldmark’s 1962 “red-baiting” attack, and the historic lawsuit that followed.
The Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) recently secured guilty pleas against four healthcare providers in four separate Medicaid fraud cases around the state, bringing more than $137,000 back to the state’s Medicaid program.
Three defendants from Tacoma, East Wenatchee and Idaho have been sentenced for cheating the Washington state system that helps injured workers.

At the request of Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the King County Superior Court has issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) requiring foreclosure trustee Cal-Western of Washington to halt its allegedly unfair and deceptive business practices.

Attorneys from the Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit of the Attorney General’s Office are in the Tri-Cities fighting to prevent the release of a Franklin County sex predator who has been confined to the state’s Special Commitment Center for the past 13 years.

Press release courtesy of Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries

Eleven workers underpaid for their effort on an Auburn activity center will share nearly $43,000 in wages owed to them under a settlement between the state and the construction company involved.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today stood behind Governor Jay Inslee’s decision to cancel parole for Jerry Lain who shot Richland police officer Mike Fitzpatrick in 1982 while in Washington on parole from Iowa.
Thousands of Washington state consumers to be refunded approximately $18.95 each.
Today in King County Superior Court, a former Renton man pleaded not guilty to charges by the Attorney General’s Office that he illegally abandoned roughly 40 barrels of hazardous waste on property from which he was evicted in 2012.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson offered the following statement regarding the news that Billy Frank, Jr. died today.
Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson awarded law enforcement officers with Washington state’s highest law enforcement award: The Medal of Honor. The medal is given to officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, who were seriously injured in the line of duty or who have displayed exceptionally meritorious conduct.
Two Tacoma business owners entered guilty pleas today in Pierce County Superior Court after Attorney General Bob Ferguson leveled multiple charges against them for selling substandard asbestos worker training courses and certifications  through their business, Environmental Management Training Services LLC. (EMT).

Release courtesy of Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Bryan Gilbert Robb, 35, today pled guilty in Spokane County Superior Court to one felony count of insurance fraud for filing a false insurance claim. Robb was sentenced to seven days in jail, a $1,000 fine and $800 in other court costs. 
Consumers who financially backed a failed crowdfunding project are finally getting some backing of their own. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed the first consumer protection lawsuit in the nation involving crowdfunding.
In response to allegations that it knowingly overbilled the state over an eight-year period, a Tacoma-based physician group will pay $259,649 to the state’s Medicaid program.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is warning homeowners and businesses to steer clear of scam artists offering to pave driveways and resurface parking lots.
The fraudsters are at it again. Members and non-members have reported receiving texts that appeared to come from Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) stating their card had been deactivated or suspended. If you received this text, DO NOT respond.
The Attorney General’s Office has charged a Franklin County corrections officer with two counts of custodial sexual misconduct in the first degree.
The state alleges Justin Thomas Husom had sexual contact with two separate female inmates at the Franklin County jail while serving as a correction officer at the facility.
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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