For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Kriss Bivens Cloyd
(208) 334-4119

Date: August 10, 2015

Attorney General Releases 2015 Fiscal Year Report for Consumer Protection Division

(Boise) – Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says his Consumer Protection Division recovered more than $24 million in penalties and costs from consumer-related enforcement actions during fiscal year 2015.

The division also recovered more than $1 million in restitution for consumers and successfully defended another year’s worth of Idaho’s tobacco Master Settlement Agreement payments, according to the Attorney General’s annual Consumer Protection Division report.

The report, released Monday, highlights the legal victories fought on behalf of consumers during the last fiscal year, from the decision by a federal appeals court affirming that St. Luke’s Health System violated state competition laws when it purchased Saltzer Medical Group to recovering financial losses suffered by consumers from Coeur d’Alene to Blackfoot.

“The takeaway from this year’s report is that it doesn’t matter if you’ve been harmed by one of the nation’s biggest companies or a small, local business,” Attorney General Wasden said.  “My Consumer Protection Division is dedicated to looking out for all consumer interests and making sure the marketplace in Idaho remains fair and competitive.”

In fiscal year 2015, the Consumer Protection Division recovered $24.1 million, the most since $16.4 million was recovered in 2012.  Of that, $21.5 million – the third biggest consumer related settlement in state history – stems from the settlement in February with Standard & Poor’s over allegations the company misrepresented its independence and objectivity in its securities ratings before and after the 2008 financial crisis.

During the 12-month period, attorneys and staff in the division mediated 648 complaints, logged more than 11,700 contacts with consumers and recovered $1.22 million in consumer restitution, the 23rd straight year the division has recovered more for consumers and businesses than lawmakers appropriated to run the division, according to the report.

“This year’s report shows once again my commitment to making sure Idaho consumers are treated fairly,” Wasden said.  “Protecting consumers has been, and will remain, one of my top priorities as Attorney General.”

Complaints about motor vehicles topped the list again in fiscal 2015, though total complaints in this category declined slightly, from 109 in 2014 to 100 in the last fiscal year.  Other high-ranking complaint categories include membership clubs and landlord/tenant disputes.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Idaho consumers filed 7,466 fraud complaints and 962 identity theft complaints with the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Consumers reported $1.83 million in losses, up from $1.61 reported in fiscal 2014.
  • Idaho received $24.1 million in payments pursuant to the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, bringing the overall total since 1998 to more than $406 million.
  • The division processed 11,754 consumer contacts, up from 9,678 the previous fiscal year.

Access the report by clicking here.

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