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AGO News Releases for 2013
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) filed theft and fraud charges today in Snohomish County Superior Court against the owners of Andrews Auto Glass Inc., which has locations in Everett and Seattle, accusing owners of $13,000 in sales tax theft.
An investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s office has resulted in charges of theft and fraud against a Tacoma woman who attempted to collect insurance money for a car she claimed was stolen and destroyed in a fire.

$49M in principal mortgage reductions for struggling homeowners and $1,000+ cash payments to eligible foreclosed borrowers in Washington state 
 

Tougher mortgage servicing standards hold Ocwen accountable for past practices, ensure fundamental servicing reforms 
 

SEATTLE — Ocwen Financial Corporation of Atlanta, Georgia, and its subsidiary, Ocwen Loan Servicing, have agreed to a joint state-federal settlement with Attorney General Bob Ferguson, 48 additional states and the District of Columbia, and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The Attorney General’s Office today released an informal opinion that addresses the most time-sensitive part of a four-part request made by Interim Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Gerald Fuller. The opinion addresses the process for filling the vacancy in the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s office caused by the retirement of former prosecutor, Stew Menefee, in September.

Washington state leads effort to combat human trafficking

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with 46 other state and territorial attorneys general, sent a letter asking Congress to fund the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). This funding would go toward programs that fight human trafficking in the United States and abroad.

A Yakima jury today announced its unanimous verdict that a local sex offender is a sexually violent predator and should be civilly committed. Jonathan Parsons, 38, had three prior convictions for sexual assaults against young boys.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with 12 other attorneys general, submitted comments to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging reduction in dangerous pollution.
Morgan Eugene  Christensen was sentenced Friday to more than  23 years in prison after pleading guilty to second degree murder with a deadly weapon and first degree burglary in Ferry County Superior Court.
Former Whitcom 911 Employee Guild treasurer Emily Kirk of Pullman, Wash., was sentenced to 60 days with 30 converted to community service after pleading guilty to Theft in the First Degree and Forgery for stealing $13,910 from the guild.
Attorneys general order U.S. Fidelis pay back 19,000 consumers nationwide

Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined three other state attorneys general today in announcing that approximately 19,000 consumers nationwide will share more than $9.3 million to compensate them for their problems with U.S. Fidelis, a now-defunct dealer of vehicle service contracts. Checks are going in the mail today for those who filed a claim.
Many businesses have contacted the state Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Labor & Industries about a misleading letter sent from a company called ‘Labor Standards Compliance Office’ listed at a Tacoma, Wash. address.
King County Superior Court Judge Jean Rietschel today issued a ruling that the state’s 2012 charter schools initiative may continue to be implemented.
 The judge upheld the charter schools law, as written, against multiple constitutional arguments, finding that only one limited aspect of the law should be stricken.
A King County woman entered a guilty plea today in Thurston County Superior Court after the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) charged her with First Degree theft and four other felony counts of Medicaid False Statement.

Less than 5 percent of donations go to charities, 50 percent to Gannons

The Washington state Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed a Consumer Protection Act complaint and will seek a temporary restraining order against Knowledge 4 Kids, otherwise known as Kures 4 Kids, and its operators, Michael and Amy Gannon.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is scheduled to begin opening arguments this afternoon in the civil commitment trial of a Yakima County sex offender.  The AGO will argue that Jonathan Parsons, 38, meets the legal definition of a sexually violent predator and should be civilly committed indefinitely.  Parson has three prior convictions.
Flanked by a bipartisan group of legislators, Attorney General Bob Ferguson unveiled a 2014 legislative agenda focused on veterans, open government, safer communities and protections for consumers against businesses who do not play by the rules.
Scores of businesses are contacting the Department of Labor & Industries to report they have received an official-looking letter that implies they must buy required workplace posters or face fines. L&I did not send the letters, but wants to remind companies that the workplace posters are available for free.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and AARP are urging Washington residents to make wise choices when giving money to charity and avoid unscrupulous fundraising groups during the holidays and afterward.
The owner of a Vancouver chiropractic clinic has repaid the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) nearly $90,000 resulting from fraudulent billing.  Clinic owner Dr. Lucas Homer recently paid the full restitution amount of $88,846 to settle a case involving improper billing practices.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office today announced that a mother and son, who were contracted to provide care to a home-healthcare program client in Spokane, pleaded guilty to stealing $17,696 from state and federal health care programs.

Courtesy of the Department of Revenue 

Nov. 21, 2013   The owner of a King County landscaping business pleaded guilty to stealing $112,572 in sales tax she collected from customers from 2006 through 2011.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson has honored Senior Counsel Andy Fitz with the Attorney General’s 2013 Steward of Justice Award. The award recognizes assistant attorneys general who further the cause of justice through exceptional legal work and extraordinary contributions to the people of Washington.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson has selected six assistant attorneys general to receive the 2013 William V. Tanner Award for outstanding achievements early in their careers.  Ferguson established the new award this year in honor of the youngest Attorney General in state history.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a major breakthrough in the fight against ‘mobile cramming’ — unauthorized third-party charges that appear on mobile telephone bills. Cramming on cell phones and landlines is estimated to cost Americans $2 billion per year.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson led a coalition of 34 states and one territory today in filing a  ‘friend of the court’ brief in the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue in the case, Paroline v. Amy Unknown and the United States, No. 12-8561, is the extent to which victims of child pornography can recover money (restitution) from those who market, possess or trade images depicting sexual assault and rape of children.
A three-judge panel in the Division II Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions of a former Department of Defense and Port Orchard police officer who threatened his live-in girlfriend with a gun and pushed her out of a second-story window in 2010.
This afternoon in Thurston County Superior Court, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) amended its lawsuit against the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). The amended complaint increases the amount the state alleges the GMA collected from its members to oppose Initiative 522 without complying with Washington’s campaign finance laws from $7.2 million to $10.6 million. This is the largest amount the state has ever addressed in a campaign finance concealment case.

This special to the Bellingham Herald was published November 20, 2013.

By Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

You might reasonably assume that the federal government regulates and tests most of the chemicals found in our children’s toys, household products, and other consumer goods to make sure they are safe. They do not. In response, states like Washington stepped up with stronger chemical safety state laws to protect consumers and the environment from the impacts of toxic chemicals.

The owner of a foreign-language interpreter service pleaded guilty Monday in a scheme that authorities say cost Washington state hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Washington helped lead $17M multi-state settlement with Google

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that his office, along with 36 states and the District of Columbia, entered into a settlement with Google Inc. for tracking information on Apple’s Safari web browser.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced he has selected Olympia attorney Nancy Krier to serve full time as the office’s Open Government Assistant Attorney General.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed suit against an Ohio-based Internet business for failing to disclose its service charge and not fully refunding customers.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed a lawsuit against an Internet based company in Colville, Wash. for violations of the Consumer Protection Act.
The Washington Attorney General’s Office today filed a petition in Skamania County Superior Court alleging a Skamania County sex offender is a sexually violent predator who should be confined indefinitely.
The Washington State Supreme Court today upheld the governor’s authority to cancel parole for dangerous criminals in Washington — even if the state’s parole board recommends otherwise.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has filed a Consumer Protection Act lawsuit against a Bellflower, Calif. company that preys on unsuspecting new property owners.

Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to pay $1.72B to resolve health care fraud allegations against government programs

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that Washington has joined with other states and the federal government in a global settlement with New Jersey pharmaceutical manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson (J & J) and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to resolve civil allegations of unlawful marketing practices to promote the sales of their atypical antipsychotic drugs, Risperdal and Invega.

The Attorney General’s Office today provided the following update regarding the Grocery Manufacturers Association against I-522 and its compliance with state campaign finance laws.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined a coalition of 15 states in filing a “friend of the court” brief Friday before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The states argued that laws prohibiting same-sex marriage in Nevada and Hawaii violate the 14th Amendment and should be struck down as unconstitutional.
A Snohomish County jury ruled late Thursday that convicted multi-victim sex predator, Garth Snively, remains a sexually violent predator and must continue confinement at the Pierce County Secure Community Transition Facility on McNeil Island.

A Going Out of Business (GOB) Sale is not something people usually want to consider. However, if necessary, it is important to do it right.

The Consumer Protection Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) enforces the state Consumer Protection Act (CPA), RCW 19.86, that prohibits unfair or deceptive business practices.

 

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has agreed to disclose the financing of its campaign to oppose Initiative 522. The agreement eliminates the need to seek court intervention to compel such disclosure. The GMA agreed to file reports with the Public Disclosure Commission and produce information related to its members’ contributions by close of business Friday, Oct. 18.

AG alleges association skirted disclosure rules in $7.2 million contribution to No on Initiative 522 campaign

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court alleging that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) violated the state’s campaign disclosure laws. Ferguson alleges the GMA illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors. The funds were spent to express opposition to Initiative 522, a measure requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods, seeds and seed products in Washington.

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Office of Attorney General Bob Ferguson are pleased to announce the screening of American Winter at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Grand Theatre in Tacoma. The documentary, directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz (Taxicab Confessions, The Defenders), follows the personal stories of eight families struggling in the wake of the economic downturn. Shot over the winter of 2011-12 in Portland, OR, this powerful film reveals the human impact of budget cuts to social services, rising poverty and economic inequality, and the fracturing of the American Dream.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 15, 2013 – A Seattle man pled guilty Monday  to stealing more than $30,000 in sales tax from August 2010 to October 2011.
Morgan Eugene  Christensen pled guilty to second degree murder with a deadly weapon and first degree burglary Friday in Ferry County Superior Court. Christensen broke into the home of his mother and stepfather in October 2012 then beat his stepfather with a tire iron and strangled him to death... Washington State Assistant Attorneys General Tienney Milnor and John Hillman prosecuted the case at the request of Ferry County.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined attorneys general from 46 states and the District of Columbia in announcing today a multimillion-dollar settlement with Connecticut-based Affinion, and its subsidiaries Trilegiant and Webloyalty. The companies will pay more than $30 million to settle allegations that consumers were enrolled in and charged for discount clubs and memberships without their consent.

Evaluating response options

SEATTLE - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) informed the Washington State Attorney General’s Office that the federal government is at substantial risk of failing to meet three more milestones ordered by the court in the 2010 Hanford Cleanup Consent Decree.

STOP.THINK.CONNECT.™ Campaign Encourages Awareness During Cyber Security Month

Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office are proud to announce their participation as partners of STOP.THINK.CONNECT.™, a global cyber security awareness campaign to help digital citizens stay safer and more secure online.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a criminal case Friday, October 4 against Colville police officer Rex Newport.

Check arrives before American Indian Day on Sept. 27

Attorney General Bob Ferguson presented a $138,721 grant to the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) to develop its new Chronic Pain Management Project patient registry. The registry will help SIHB health care providers identify and create individualized service plans for patients with chronic pain and other diagnoses.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with 13 other attorneys general, sent a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture demanding that the department and the U.S. Forest Service return sequestered funds owed to the states.

 

Washington state has received a $6 million federal grant that will help connect expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families with health, education, and social services.
Benton County Superior Court Judge Carrie Runge today set an October 2014 trial to determine whether convicted sex offender Stephen Robinson is a sexually violent predator (SVP).  Robinson, 56, was convicted of sexually violent offenses against young girls in Benton County in 1984 and again in Denver County, Colo. in 1999.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Secretary of State Kim Wyman are teaming up to warn consumers about a troubling practice by some individuals who solicit donations near retail stores on behalf of charities.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today informed the members of the Washington State Sunshine Committee he has restored the Open Government Assistant Attorney General to a full-time position. Ferguson will begin recruitment today.
1,500 Washington state victims will receive full restitution, between $1k-$20k
 
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today the settlement of a major timeshare consumer protection case involving Jonathan and Christine Gibbs of Olympia.
In a 7-2 ruling today, the Washington State Supreme Court today sided with the state Department of Transportation in a dispute over whether or not the state’s Constitution and the department’s statute allowed highway lanes on the Interstate 90 floating bridge to be leased to Sound Transit to expand its light rail system.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office won a major arbitration decision today in the continuing effort to enforce the $206 billion, 25-year Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement (MSA). The decision means $14.8 million in withheld tobacco settlement funds from 2003 will come to Washington.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a new “Military and Veterans Legal Resource Guide” to help veterans, military personnel and their families understand their legal rights and protections.

Roberts brings federal prosecuting experience, Melroy brings budgeting and financial expertise

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today he has selected Darwin Roberts, a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), to serve as a Deputy Attorney General. Roberts will be one of five deputies who oversee a number of Attorney General’s Office (AGO) legal divisions and provide strategic leadership. Ferguson also announced the selection of Mark Melroy, Senior Legislative Analyst and former Budget Manager for the King County Council, as the Chief Financial Officer.

Former Whitcom 911 Employee Guild treasurer Emily Kirk of Pullman, Wash., today entered a guilty plea in Whitman County Superior Court after the Attorney General’s Office charged her with theft for stealing $13,910 from the guild. Kirk pled guilty to Theft in the First Degree and Forgery.

 

“Today we received confirmation Washington’s voter-approved marijuana law will be implemented. We received good news this morning when Attorney General Eric Holder told the governor the federal government would not pre-empt Washington and Colorado as the states implement a highly regulated legalized market for marijuana. Attorney General Holder made it clear the federal government will continue to enforce the federal Controlled Substance Act by focusing its enforcement on eight specific concerns, including the prevention of distribution to minors and the importance of keeping Washington-grown marijuana within our state’s borders. We share those concerns and are confident our state initiative will be implemented as planned.
A Spokane restaurant owner faces a felony theft charge alleging she defrauded the state of nearly $250,000 in workers’ compensation benefits over eight years while claiming she could not work.
The Attorney General's Office (AGO) is here to help safeguard consumers from fraud and unfair business practices — including providing information to help you confidently navigate the car buying process.

16,377 Washington state borrowers received relief

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that the five banks covered under the National Mortgage Settlement have reported providing over $1.2 billion dollars in consumer relief to Washington homeowners. As of June 30, 2013, according to the unaudited bank reports, 16,377 Washington state borrowers have received an average of $74,763 in consumer relief. This relief includes debt reduction loan modifications on first and second mortgages, lower interest rates on underwater mortgages, and transitional assistance for those unable to remain in their homes.

The Attorney General’s Office today released a formal Attorney General’s Opinion in response to a request by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island.

Ranker asked if a public hospital district violates Initiative 120 if it solely contracts with a health care provider that does not provide reproductive care services such as contraception.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today he has selected David Horn, Assistant Regional Director for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and former Assistant Attorney General, to serve as his Chief Deputy, the highest ranking legal position in the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced an important ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the lengthy effort to build a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
Courtesy of Department of Labor and Industries

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) says a 54 year old Seattle man has been charged with 15 counts of second degree theft in connection with more than $262,000 he received in workers’ compensation and other benefits.

Wyeth Pharmaceutical to pay $491M, Washington state will receive $261K

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Washington has joined with other states and the federal government in a $491 million settlement against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2009.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has successfully stopped deceptive marketing by a prescription drug discount card.

The AGO alleged Washington Drug Card falsely advertised their service as ‘Washington's Official Statewide Prescription Assistance Program,’ from March to April 2013. Washington Drug Card is a private company and is not affiliated or endorsed by any state governmental agency.

Washington Attorney General Gob Ferguson today filed a complaint against two businessmen and their credit card processing companies for allegedly scamming small business owners.
State environmental laws would be preempted under proposed law

Today, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and eight other Attorneys General from around the country released a letter they sent to Congress strongly objecting to provisions in the proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S.1009) that would override state environmental laws.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) today filed suit against an insurance agent and his two business partners who allegedly preyed on elderly consumers and duped them out of thousands of dollars. Many of the 30-plus victims were widows, usually over 80-years-old.
The Attorney General’s Office this week successfully committed a sexually violent predator (SVP) to the state’s Special Commitment Center, preventing his release into the community.
An Idaho woman faces felony charges after allegedly receiving more than $12,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and nearly $4,000 for vocational rehabilitation while claiming she was unable to work.
Attorneys General send letter to Congress calling for an amendment to the Communications Decency Act

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson today joined a bi-partisan coalition of 49 Attorneys General calling on Congress to amend the law to help fight prostitution and sex trafficking. In a letter to key members of Congress, the Attorneys General advocated that Congress amend the Communications Decency Act to provide criminal jurisdiction to state and local prosecutors. The letter’s lead sponsors were Attorneys General from the states of Missouri, South Dakota and Washington.
The Attorney General’s Office this week filed a petition asking a Benton County judge to find probable cause to believe that convicted multi-victim pedophile Stephen Robinson may be a sexually violent predator (SVP). If the judge ultimately agrees, Robinson would be civilly committed at the state's Special Commitment Center, preventing his release into the community.

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has successfully prosecuted a Snohomish County environmental crime involving illegal dumping of over 6,000 gallons of sewage. This is the first environmental crime the AGO has prosecuted in 10 years.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today joined fellow attorneys general, the Federal Trade Commission and other partners across America in recognizing the first annual Military Consumer Protection Day.
The Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) filed felony criminal charges against Burnice R. Thompson in Thurston County Superior Court today.
As required under Initiative 960, the Attorney General has sent written notice to the Secretary of State identifying legislation adopted in the 2013 legislative session that is subject to an advisory vote of the people under Initiative 960.
The Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) has entered into diversion agreements with two defendants in connection with falsifying timesheets as paid caregivers under the Medicaid program.

Progress has been made to protect consumer privacy, but concerns remain  

SEATTLE—Attorney General Bob Ferguson, joined by 22 other state attorneys general, announced progress in their effort to work with Google to improve how it protects consumer privacy, and called on the company to offer greater transparency and more meaningful privacy controls.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson with 39 other state and territorial attorneys general and consumer advocates, sent comments on June 24 to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about stopping mobile cramming, the placement of unauthorized third-party charges on mobile phone bills.
Today, the US Supreme Court issued two important rulings for marriage equality...In a 5-4 ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, the court declared the section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
OLYMPIA—Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today urged the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to strengthen federal Military Lending Act (MLA) regulations to better protect servicemembers from abusive lending practices.
SEATTLE — The Public Counsel Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) today challenged the electric rate increases proposed by PacifiCorp, which operates in Washington as Pacific Power and Light Company.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the latest report by the national monitor on the progress of five servicers subject to the National Mortgage Settlement shows success, but much work remains.
The Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) has charged an Otis Orchards woman with one count of 1st degree theft and two counts of making a false statement to obtain a Medicaid payment.
OLYMPIA…Attorney General Bob Ferguson offered his condolences as friends, colleagues and family of Sen. Mike Carrell honor him at his public memorial on Monday, June 10.
The State of Washington was extremely disappointed to hear from the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) on Thursday that two more milestones agreed to in the 2010 Hanford Cleanup Consent Decree with the State are at substantial risk of being missed. USDOE Secretary Ernest Moniz called Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday to inform him of this information
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today the filing of a major timeshare consumer protection case as part of the joint multi-state, multi-national law enforcement initiative coordinated by the Federal Trade Commission.
After an extensive investigation and litigation, the Attorney General’s Office today announced a settlement with Caicos Corporation for multiple violations of the state’s prevailing wage laws, resulting in a total payment of more than $64,000 plus $25,000 in interest to 14 misclassified workers.
June 5, 2013 > AG warns of Medicare scams
Attorney General Bob Ferguson has learned Washington residents are receiving calls from scammers posing as Medicare officials seeking personal information, claiming to need the information to issue new Medicare cards.
Borrowers who submitted a valid foreclosure payment claim through the National Mortgage Settlement will receive a check this month for approximately $1,480, much higher than the amount of $840 first announced.
May 28, 2013 > State appeals culvert case
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the state filed a Notice of Appeal in the case of US v Washington— the “culverts” case.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office Friday charged Emily Kirk of Pullman, Wash., with theft of $13,910 from Whitcom 911 Employee Guild. The Guild’s treasurer is accused of Theft in the First Degree, Money Laundering and Forgery.
In the wake of the massive tornados that touched down in Oklahoma this week, Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Secretary of State (SOS) are warning of opportunistic fraudsters. Cons follow the headlines and can easily create bogus charities under the guise of helping victims.
OLYMPIA—Washington has joined with other states and the federal government in a $500 million dollar settlement to resolve civil and criminal allegations against Ranbaxy, a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Gurgaon, India. The company is alleged to have introduced adulterated—or tainted— drugs into interstate commerce, resulting in false or fraudulent claims being submitted to Washington’s Medicaid Program.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the hiring of Alison Dempsey-Hall as Deputy Communications Director.  
A group of young women from Wenatchee shared their efforts to prevent bullying in their schools and community and won the Grand Prize at the 2013 Spring Youth Forum-- a $3,000 partial scholarship to an upcoming prevention leadership conference in Washington, DC.
The Attorney General’s Office  and the Better Business Bureau are warning Washington residents to read the fine print before responding to letters from businesses  offering to sell them copies of records easily accessible from local government offices for a much lower price.
Governor Jay Inslee today signed Attorney General-request legislation making courthouses safer for the people of Washington. He also signed measures supported by the Attorney General expanding the use of treatment courts and creating a statewide coordinating committee to fight child sex trafficking
TUMWATER — A 39 year old Tacoma woman faces charges on five counts of theft for fraudulently collecting more than $50,000 in workers’ compensation benefits from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).
CAMP MURRAY, WASHINGTON – The Washington Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense operational committee, announced that Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson signed a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve today at Camp Murray.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced he has selected Senior Counsel Pam Anderson as the new Torts Division Chief.
The Washington State Law Enforcement Medal of Honor/Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. today in Olympia. The ceremony will be webcast via TVW as well.

Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson will award 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 or who have displayed exceptionally meritorious conduct.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today Washington has joined a national settlement against the drug manufacturer Amgen, Inc., resolving allegations that Amgen violated certain state false claims acts by reporting inflated pricing data for its prescription drugs Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen, and Sensipar.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s High-Tech Unit has secured a $97,000 settlement with ZookaWare, an Arizona-based software company, and its owner for engaging in unfair and deceptive practices against consumers over the last several years.
The Legislature has approved a bipartisan measure proposed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson to extend current courthouse protections to all residents accessing the courts.
The Public Counsel Section of the Washington Attorney General’s Office today filed expert testimony recommending modifications to a multi-year rate plan filed by Puget Sound Energy (PSE).
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the Better Business Bureau are teaming up to remind consumers that scammers never take a vacation.  Both the AGO and the BBB have seen a recent spike in “Timeshare Reseller” scams. Together both agencies have received more than 20 complaints since the start of the year.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has ordered T-Mobile to correct deceptive advertising that promised consumers no annual contracts while carrying hidden charges for early termination of phone plans.  Today, the Attorney General's Office filed a court order signed by T-Mobile and effective nationwide that will ensure the company clearly communicates the limitations of its new “no-contract” wireless service plans and allows customers duped by the deceptive ads to exit their contracts with no penalty.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Secretary of State Kim Wyman today expressed their condolences to the victims of the horrific violence at the 2013 Boston Marathon—and warned people not to fall victim to fake fundraisers using the tragedy to scam people into making bogus contributions.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced his office has filed a consumer protection  lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Wash.  On March 1, 2013, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, refused to provide wedding flowers to long-time customer, Robert Ingersoll, based on her opposition to same-sex marriage.
OLYMPIA—Attorney General Bob Ferguson today shared news that Microsoft recently used a new Washington unfair competition law to resolve a dispute over software licensing issues with the world’s fourth largest aircraft manufacturer, Embraer.
Attorney General Ferguson was infuriated to learn unauthorized financial planning companies were targeting senior veterans with schemes promising new untapped veterans benefits—if the veterans were willing to let these “planners” help manage their financial assets.
Pasco—Franklin County Superior Court Judge Vic L. VanderSchoor sentenced Dennis Merle Huston of Pasco, Wash., to 16 years today after Huston pled guilty to a complicated embezzlement scheme involving millions of dollars dating back to March 1990.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson reiterated Washington state’s support for marriage equality today as the US Supreme Court hears two landmark cases. Washington joined more than a dozen other states in two “friend-of-the-court briefs” in these cases in late February.
As Americans celebrate National Medal of Honor Day today, Attorney General Bob Ferguson unveiled one of the first major pieces of his veterans’ initiative: new Web-based resources for Washington’s veterans, active-duty military service members and their families.
SEATTLE – The Public Counsel Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office will recommend Friday that the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) continue investigating the so-called “hedging” strategies used by utility companies in their natural gas purchasing strategies.  Public Counsel will also further recommend that the WUTC order that certain hedging costs not be passed to customers.
The Washington State Senate today approved a bipartisan measure proposed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson to extend current courthouse protections to all residents accessing the courts.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today joined 37 other states and the District of Columbia in a $7 million settlement with search engine giant Google for collecting data from unsecured wireless networks nationwide while taking photographs for its Street View service
BELLINGHAM, WA – March 14, 2013 – The operator of the now-closed Bayside Café in Bellingham has been charged with the theft of at least $286,000 in sales tax he collected from customers but failed to remit to the Washington State Department of Revenue.
OLYMPIA-- Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Washington has joined with other states and the federal government in a $22.5 million settlement with Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. (“Par”). The states allege Par promoted sales of the drug Megace ES for uses not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and not covered by the State Medicaid programs.
The Attorney General’s Office has learned people are receiving e-mails that appear to be from the AGO Webmaster or other “@atg.wa.gov” e-mail addresses with subject lines offering stock tips and other news. These are spoofs to trick people into parting with their personal information or lure them into clicking on a document or link that will infect their computer with viruses or malware.
EVERETT – March 6, 2013 – A Bothell contractor was charged today with stealing nearly $23,000 in sales tax between 2004 and 2010 and covering up the theft by filing fraudulent tax returns.
OLYMPIA...Call them scammers, swindlers, fraudsters or grifters. But whatever you do, don’t believe a word they say.
OLYMPIA—The Walla Walla County Superior Court Friday entered a preliminary injunction, ordering several Northwest auto dealerships owned by Mark Gilbert to comply with Washington dealer and consumer protection laws, requiring prompt payoff of customers’ trade-in vehicles.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson this week joined two friend-of-the court briefs in support of marriage equality in two landmark cases soon to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We all share the desire to provide the highest quality education for our children. As the state’s attorney, it’s my responsibility to defend the will of the voters and I will be directing my legal team to do so in this case.”
In a case involving multiple jurisdictions, tracking the accused to Nigeria and Texas and back to Washington, a man charged with committing roughly $100,000 in Medicaid fraud finally pled guilty to 10 counts of First Degree Theft in Thurston County Superior Court today.
SPOKANE – Feb. 25, 2013 – The operator of now-closed Alpine Auto Wholesale in Spokane pled guilty today to felony theft of sales tax and filing false state tax returns.
Earlier today, Attorney General Bob Ferguson learned the U.S. Dept. of Energy has now increased the number of identified leaking single-shelled radioactive waste storage tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation from the one they reported last week to six—and they admit there may be more.
In the year since state Attorneys General and the federal government reached a historic consumer protection settlement with the nation’s five largest banks, the banks report they have provided nearly $46 billion in gross relief to more than 550,000 borrowers, according to an independent monitor’s report released this morning.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson learned the U.S. Dept. of Energy has identified a leak in one of the single-shelled radioactive waste storage tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, releasing between one-half to one full gallon of liquid per day..."I have met with my legal team and asked them to develop new legal options to enforce the U.S. Department of Energy's current obligations to clean up Hanford. We must ensure that Washington communities and our environment are protected."
Today Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined 29 other states in announcing a multi-million dollar settlement with Toyota and its related North American entities over allegations the company concealed safety issues related to unintended acceleration.
The corporation that operated El Mestizo Restaurant on First Hill was charged today with filing a false or fraudulent state tax return after failing to report sales tax it collected from customers but failed to remit to the state.
Today’s courthouse shooting in Delaware is a grim reminder that courthouse violence is on the rise. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working with lawmakers to help him extend protections to all who access our justice system.
The Attorney General’s Office today warned parents to be careful about educational companies who claim to be affiliated with their child’s school as a way to sell their wares.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today joined a group of state attorneys general and the U.S. Dept. of Justice in filing suit against Standard & Poor’s. The group alleges the credit rating agency misled investors with regard to structured finance securities backed by subprime mortgages that were at the center of the national financial crisis.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the hiring of Kendee Yamaguchi as Director of Policy, Legislative Affairs and External Relations.
Pasco—Dennis Merle Huston of Pasco, Wash., entered a plea of guilty as charged in Franklin County Superior Court today, after admitting to a complicated embezzlement scheme involving millions of dollars, dating back to March 1990. The state auditor’s office says this is the largest public embezzlement case in state history.
As part of the ongoing effort to address the national foreclosure crisis, Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced his office, 44 other Attorneys General and the District of Columbia have reached a $120 million multi-state settlement with Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) and its subsidiaries, LPS Default Solutions and DocX.  The office also settled with LPS-subsidiary, LSI Title, for activities as a foreclosure trustee in Washington.
“Today, we had a cordial, successful first meeting. Governor Inslee and I communicated Washington state’s intention to move forward in implementing I-502. We have assembled a legal team in the Attorney General’s Office, and I have made legal implementation of this initiative a top priority. This will be an on-going discussion, and we plan to continue our dialogue with Attorney General Holder in the coming months.”
January 10, 2013 > Attack of the “bidbots”

Washington state strikes back against rigged Internet auctions

SEATTLE – Bidders on electronics and other goods auctioned on ArrowOutlet.com thought they were competing with other human beings. But it turns out, according to a lawsuit filed by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, they were often battling “bots.”

Attorney General-Elect Bob Ferguson today announced the selection of Seattle attorney Noah Guzzo Purcell as the new Solicitor General for the Washington State Attorney General's Office (AGO), replacing retiring Solicitor General Maureen Hart
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) today announced the resolution of cases against two women accused of criminal negligence and fraud at an Eatonville boarding home.
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