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AGO News Releases for 2004
OLYMPIA -- The unexplained disappearance of a family member or friend can be terrifying, but a partnership between the Attorney General’s Office and other state law enforcement agencies has produced some new tools to help police respond and assist those facing a missing-person crisis.
SEATTLE -- A Marysville company that made unsubstantiated claims about the effectiveness of body-enhancement products it sold over the Internet has agreed to stop offering the products in Washington, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
OLYMPIA -- In a Washington state case argued by the Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Supreme Court this week issued a unanimous opinion that will protect police officers from false-arrest allegations if they misstate the reason why a suspect is being arrested.
SEATTLE -- The Attorney General's Bankruptcy & Collections Unit (BCU) has passed a major milestone-recovering more than $100 million in taxes owed the state over the past 11 years. The amount is nearly double what was anticipated when the unit was created in September 1993.
SEATTLE -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced that 49 agencies statewide will receive grants totaling $695,000 from a recent settlement with Medco Health Solutions, Inc. The money will be used to benefit low-income, disabled or elderly consumers of prescription medications in Washington.
SEATTLE -- The Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers about the re-emergence of a long-distance scam called a “Nigerian scheme” because they often originate in that African country.
October 21, 2004 > AG Settles with Organon
SEATTLE -- Washington consumers who used the antidepressant drug Remeron could receive part of a $36 million multi-state settlement with its manufacturer, Organon USA Inc, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
SEATTLE -- The Attorney General’s Office is urging consumers, businesses and health care providers to be on alert and immediately report suspected price gouging or counterfeit/diluted flu vaccine by either distributors or providers.
SEATTLE -- The Attorney General's Public Counsel section today challenged rate increases proposed by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) that would add about $5 to a typical residential customer's monthly electrical bill, and about $4.35 to a gas bill.
SEATTLE -- The Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers to beware of “phishing” scammers on the Internet. Phishing is an attempt to trick consumers into disclosing personal and/or financial information.
SEATTLE -- The Attorney General’s Office is recruiting consumer analyst volunteers to work with the general public and businesses to resolve consumer complaints.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today that Rite Aid has entered into an agreement with 20 states, including Washington, to help reduce the sale of tobacco to minors.
OLYMPIA -- Gov. Gary Locke and Attorney General Christine Gregoire today joined the Colville Confederated Tribes in their lawsuit aimed at forcing the Teck Cominco mining company to clean up Lake Roosevelt.
OLYMPIA -- Anacortes Port Commissioner Pat Mooney has agreed to resign effective Sept. 1 to settle state claims that he won reelection in 2003 by committing violations of state campaign-finance reporting laws.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today that Vibo Corporation of Miami, Florida has joined the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) and will pay Washington State $1.5 million immediately and approximately $35 million over the next ten years.
SEATTLE -- A Redmond-based Internet web service company which failed to deliver promised services has agreed to stop misrepresenting its services and pay restitution to consumers, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today.
OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire today took action before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to support efforts by Northwest utilities to obtain rate relief for customers who were harmed by the fraudulent activities by Enron.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today urged the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to consider filing additional claims to disgorge profits on both long- and short-term BPA/Enron contracts on behalf of Northwest power customers who suffered because of Enron's fraudulent and manipulative actions in the West Coast energy market in 2000-2001.
SEATTLE -- Senior citizens in the Auburn area of King County should be on the lookout for a fraudulent vacuum cleaner salesman who goes door to door offering either free cans of soup or a canned ham in exchange for a vacuum cleaner demonstration.
OLYMPIA -- Pharmaceutical manufacturer Schering Plough will reimburse Washington's Medicaid program $3.57 million in a nationwide settlement of allegations the drug maker failed to offer state Medicaid programs its best price for the popular antihistamine drug Claritin.
SEATTLE -- More than 1,150 Washington consumers who were overcharged for the anti-anxiety drug BuSpar began receiving restitution payments today, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced.
OLYMPIA -- Gov. Gary Locke and Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced that Washington state intends to sue the federal Department of Energy (DOE) to halt further shipments of waste to Hanford because the agency has not fully complied with federal environmental laws.
OLYMPIA -- The Washington State Attorney General's Office today asked the state Supreme Court to review a recent lower court decision that ruled Initiative 655 (I-655) unconstitutional.
SEATTLE -- The Attorney General's Office today notified the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) that it opposes Verizon Northwest's request for a $29.7 million emergency increase to local telephone rates.
OLYMPIA -- Washington will receive $3.25 million as part of a multi-state settlement with Duke Energy, according to Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
July 12, 2004 > Gregoire Urges FERC Action
OLYMPIA -- The failure of federal energy regulators to act may preclude Northwest ratepayers from ever getting financial relief for fraud committed by Enron traders, Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire warned today.
OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire and Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers today put the federal government on notice that they will sue the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) if the department refuses to assess the environmental harm caused by decades of nuclear weapons production at Hanford.
SEATTLE -- The Attorney General’s High Tech Unit today filed suit against a Snohomish County man for making unsubstantiated claims that the lotions, capsules and other products he offered for sale over the Internet could increase breast size without surgery.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today wrote to President Bush saying she continues to support the Hanford cleanup plan signed by state and federal officials in 1989, and said the federal government cannot declare those cleanup efforts a success "by simply lowering the bar."
OLYMPIA -- Four private attorneys paid by Clark County to provide legal services to indigent criminal defendants have agreed not to set terms and rates for their services in a manner that would violate state antitrust laws.
OLYMPIA -- The National Association of Attorneys General has given its annual award for excellence in legal brief writing to the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.
SEATTLE -- More than 150,000 consumers nationwide who leased vehicles through Ford Motor Credit Co. and Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers may be eligible for reimbursements of up to $100 through a multi-state settlement announced today by Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
OLYMPIA -- Thousands of compact discs worth more than $1.5 million are rolling into Washington schools and libraries this week as a result of a national antitrust settlement.
SPOKANE -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today filed suit against two marketing companies that allegedly scammed senior citizens out of their life savings by encouraging them to buy high-risk or bogus investments, including insurance products and living trusts.
May 27, 2004 > ADVISORY
OLYMPIA -- May 27, 2004 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire has sent a letter to Gov. Gary Locke urging him to delay the July 1, 2004 implementation of a new state rule that could affect health care for thousands of needy children in Washington.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire has appointed Assistant Attorney General Mary Sue Wilson as the new chief of the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Division.
SEATTLE -- A $430 million settlement with makers of a prescription epilepsy drug will return millions of dollars to Washington's Medicaid program and provide money to offset the company's improper efforts to market the drug Neurontin for other purposes, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
SEATTLE -- A settlement which could help reduce drug costs and improve medical care for 60 million Americans was announced today by Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire has urged Congress to reject proposed legislation that would exempt the U.S. Department of Defense from major national environmental laws governing air quality and toxic waste cleanup on military bases.
SEATTLE --Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today Cyco.net, Inc., a New Mexico firm, has agreed to stop selling tobacco products in Washington.
SEATTLE -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today opposed Qwest's request to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) for early termination of a service quality performance program originally established as part of the Qwest-US West merger.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take a case involving the rights of states to regulate direct-to-consumer shipments of wine.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today asked a federal appeals court to uphold a ruling which blocks U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) efforts to reclassify high-level radioactive waste in order to avoid disposing of it in a safe underground storage facility.
OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire today criticized plans by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to import out-of-state nuclear waste to Hanford.
SEATTLE -- Two California-based companies that sold legal service plans, including estate planning, agreed today to stop doing business in Washington and to refund consumers who either failed to receive legal advice from a licensed attorney or bought products as a result of high-pressure sales.
OLYMPIA -- County prosecutors often face complicated legal issues in their efforts to bring fish and wildlife violators to justice, but they are getting some help on that front this week from the Attorney General's Office.
SEATTLE -- Eight organizations that promote health and nutrition will receive $165,315 as a result of an antitrust settlement with the manufacturer of the George Foreman Grill.
SPOKANE -- A Spokane County couple, Cheryl Kay Edlin and Claude Allen Edlin, were each charged today with nine counts of theft and filing false statements to obtain state Medicaid reimbursements in connection with the unlicensed denturist services they provided at two Spokane clinics.
COLFAX -- The former operator of the St. John Pharmacy, James Craig Hudkins, was charged today with nine counts of first-degree theft for allegedly billing the state Medicaid program in 2002 and 2003 for prescription medications he did not provide to patients.
February 27, 2004 > AG Sues Thesaurus Fine Arts
SEATTLE -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire filed suit today accusing a Seattle fine arts dealer of selling fake Asian and Chinese art.
SEATTLE -- The Washington State Attorney General's Office announced today that $450,000 is available for consumer education projects in Washington.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire has issued this statement in response to today's 7-2 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Locke v. Davey case.
SEATTLE -- Checks go in the mail tomorrow for millions of compact disc buyers who filed claims in a national antitrust price-fixing case.
SEATTLE -- Troubles with high tech companies-including a growing problem with Internet Service Providers (ISPs)-continued to dominate the Top 10 list of consumer complaints received by the Attorney General's Office in 2003, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
OLYMPIA -- The Attorney General's Office, AARP and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) today said they are seeking new Fraud Fighters in Olympia to combat fraud against senior citizens.
January 30, 2004 > Bogus Medical Supplies Settlement
SPOKANE -- Thousands of consumers who purchased bogus medical supplies in Washington and 17 other states will benefit from a settlement announced today by Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
SEATTLE -- The deadline to file claims in the Taxol antitrust case has been extended through Feb. 29, 2004. Thousands of claims have already been filed nationwide, but due to a substantial increase in the numbers of claims and of claim form requests, the deadline has once again been extended to give consumers additional time to submit claims.
January 14, 2004 > Gregoire Settles with Worldlink
SEATTLE -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced a settlement today with Worldlink, Inc., a Shoreline-based Internet provider accused of engaging in unfair business practices.
SEATTLE -- A Renton dentist today was sentenced to serve six months on home detention and ordered to pay $175,000 in restitution to the state after pleading guilty in December to theft and fraud charges filed after he billed the state Medicaid program for services he did not provide.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today the state has gone to court to force the U.S. Department of Energy to pay a $6.8 million tax bill it owes the state.
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