STATE AGs IN THE NEWS
New Utah Attorney General Appointed and Sworn into Office
Utah Governor Gary Herbert named Sean Reyes to serve as Attorney General to replace John Swallow who recently resigned from office. AG Reyes was sworn into office on December 30, 2013 and will serve through 2014. A special election will be held in November 2014, and AG Reyes stated that he will run. Reyes, who ran for AG against Swallow in 2012, practiced law for 14 years with Utah's largest law firm, Parsons Behle & Latimer. He later went on to start Reyes Legal Management and to partner with Accelerate Ventures, both companies involved in overseeing legal strategy and execution for venture capital funds. In 2008, Reyes was named the American Bar Association's "National Outstanding Young Lawyer" and in 2006, the Utah State Bar recognized him as "Utah Young Lawyer of the Year." CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU (CFPB)
CFPB Settles with American Express for Credit Card Add-Ons
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) settled with American Express Co. for $75.7 million over allegedly unfair billing practices and deceptive marketing, affecting more than 335,000 consumers. The company allegedly misrepresented the costs and benefits of add-on products including its "Account Protector" and "Lost Wallet" payment protection products, and also billed customers for services they did not receive. $59.5 million of the total settlement amount is for customer restitution and $16.2 million is assessed as penalties. CONSUMER PROTECTION
Idaho Attorney General Bans E-commerce Training Company for Consumer Protection Violations
Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden settled with eCommerce Support, LLC resolving allegations that the company misrepresented the written materials and coaching services purportedly designed to help consumers develop Internet businesses. The settlement stems from allegations that eCommerce Support falsely represented that consumers were investing in a business, would earn a specific sum of money within a short amount of time, only had to work 10 hours per week to make money, could deduct the cost of the program from their taxes, and would receive a professional, functioning website. As part of the settlement, eCommerce Support is prohibited from doing business in Idaho and will pay $90,000 in restitution, $10,000 for the AG's investigation costs, and $50,000 civil penalties that will be held in abeyance. New Mexico Attorney General Sues to Oppose Opening of Horse Slaughterhouse
New Mexico AG Gary King...