(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced that his Consumer Protection Division recovered millions of dollars in restitution for Idahoans, squelched fraudulent marketing schemes and employed a variety of enforcement measures intended to protect the health and fairness of the state’s marketplace during the last fiscal year.
The division also recorded more than 12,800 contacts with consumers, resolved investigations of two charitable nonprofits and negotiated an agreement, pursuant to Idaho’s Constitution, prohibiting two companies from offering daily fantasy sports games in Idaho.
Those highlights and others are featured in the Consumer Protection Division’s Fiscal Year 2016 report released August 22. Wasden said the report underscores his commitment to protecting Idaho consumers and fairness in the marketplace across the state and in upholding Idaho law.
“My hope is that this report shows the broad and diverse efforts taken by the Consumer Protection Division to protect the interests of individual consumers as well as business owners big and small,” Wasden said.
During fiscal year 2016, the Consumer Protection Division (CPD) recovered more than $2.95 million in restitution, which represents $3.79 for each tax dollar appropriated for consumer operations during fiscal 2016.
In April, Idaho received more than $25.2 million in payments tied to the Master Settlement Agreement, which resolved the national tobacco litigation between the states and tobacco companies. Attorneys in the CPD continue to defend those annual payments from tobacco industry attack, Wasden said.
The report shows that attorneys and staff mediated 603 complaints, recorded 12,861 contacts with consumers and recovered and deposited more than $1.9 million in civil penalties, fees and costs into the consumer protection account.
Complaints about motor vehicles led the list of Top 10 complaints filed by Idahoans, according to the report. Other high ranking categories include health care, landlord-tenant, loans and mortgage lenders and construction/contractors. During the 12-month period, the CPD logged 791 complaints, down from 829 during fiscal 2015.
In other report highlights, the CPD:
- Resolved constitutional ownership issues between St. Luke’s Health System and community hospitals in McCall and Mountain Home;
- Recovered $2 million for consumers by resolving antitrust litigation against Apple Inc. over alleged price-fixing in the e-book market;
- Investigated and settled allegations of misappropriation of charitable assets by executives at Bingham Memorial Hospital; and
- Logged more than $2.1 million in losses reported by consumers, up from more than $1.8 million the previous year.
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