For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: February 15, 2007

Wasden: Consumer Recoveries Fourth Highest on Record

(Boise) – The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit recovered more than $1,600,000 for Idaho consumers last year, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said today. Idahoans received $3.35 for each $1.00 appropriated for consumer protection operations. 2006 marked the 16th consecutive year in which the amount of money recovered for consumers was greater than the general fund appropriation for consumer protection operations.

Wasden released his annual report on consumer protection operations during a news conference in Boise today.

Wasden reported that he transferred more than $150,000 in surplus consumer protection money to the General Fund at the end of Fiscal Year 2006. Wasden has transferred more than $1.5 million from the Consumer Protection Account to the General Fund since taking office in 2003.

The Attorney General also reported that the consumer protection section of his office also recovered for the State of Idaho more than $280,000 in civil penalties, fees and costs. Wasden noted that these amounts are in addition to the $21 million Idaho received last year from the tobacco settlement.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit logged 5,277 instances of consumer assistance in 2006. 2,051 contacts were consumer complaints. The remainder consisted of information from consumers, requests for information and forms and consumer inquiries about particular businesses.

The Consumer Protection staff completed 12 enforcement actions last year including significant Consumer Protection Act settlements with pharmaceutical manufacturers Dey, Inc., and Dey, L.P., Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Ameriquest Mortgage and two “yellow pages” advertising companies. The Attorney General also reached settlements with three companies that unlawfully sent fax advertising to Idaho consumers and businesses.

“We continued with, and expanded, our consumer education efforts in 2006, particularly in the area of protecting children from Internet sexual predators through the ProtecTeens initiative,” Attorney General Wasden said. “In August, we re-released the ProtecTeens CD in bilingual form. The video and all of the supporting materials are now in both English and Spanish. In December, we released two new online manuals that address Internet safety issues of concern to parents: A Parental Guide to Social Networking and the Internet Lingo Dictionary. By year’s end, we had distributed more than 80,000 copies of the ProtecTeens CD throughout Idaho.”

Click here to view the complete Consumer Protection Annual report for 2006.

Click here to hear Attorney General Wasden discuss highlights of the report, prepared by Deputy Attorney General Brett DeLange.

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