The State AG Report Weekly Update August 10, 2017

Breaking News

Arkansas Attorney General Is New Chairman of Republican Attorneys General Association

  • Earlier today, the Republican Attorneys General Association (“RAGA”) named Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge as its new Chairman, succeeding West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey, who is stepping down to focus on his AG duties in West Virginia and his 2018 U.S. Senate campaign.
  • AG Rutledge previously served as Vice-Chairman of RAGA. RAGA announced that a new Vice-Chairman will be chosen at a later date.
  • AG Rutledge was elected as Arkansas AG in 2014. Prior to her election as AG, she was in private practice in Little Rock and had previously served as Counsel for the Republican National Committee.

Consumer Protection

Illinois Attorney General Reaches Settlement with Auto Insurance Company Over Alleged Discriminatory Practices

  • Illinois AG Lisa Madigan reached a settlement with Direct Auto Insurance Company (“Direct Auto”) to resolve allegations that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by asking consumers for information regarding their disability status.
  • According to the AG’s office, Direct Auto, as part of its application process, allegedly sought broad information from consumers regarding their physical and mental health disabilities and, in some instances, allegedly revoked policies or refused to cover accident damage for consumers who did not disclose such disabilities to Direct Auto.
  • Under the terms of the settlement, Direct Auto agreed to cease requesting physical and mental disability information from consumers, incorporate nondiscrimination provisions in its operating policies, and train staff to ensure compliance.

Kentucky Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Car Dealership for Allegedly Misrepresenting Usage Tax Payments

  • Kentucky AG Andy Beshear filed a lawsuit against car dealership The United Group a/k/a Auto Plaza USA (“Auto Plaza”) for allegedly violating the state’s Consumer Protection Act over the failure to properly pay usage taxes on behalf of consumers.
  • According to the complaint, Auto Plaza allegedly charged a consumer fee for document preparation services that were not properly performed and allegedly collected vehicle usage taxes from consumers and then falsified documents in order to avoid full tax payments to the state, which resulted in consumers receiving delinquent notices for the usage taxes that they had already paid to Auto Plaza.
  • The lawsuit seeks $465,000 in restitution for consumers who were affected by the delinquent tax bills and $685,000 for consumers affected by the improper document preparation fees.

Ohio Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Home Improvement Contractor for Allegedly Breaking Contracts, Performing Substandard Work

  • Ohio AG Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit against United Roofing & Remodeling, LLC and its owner (collectively “United Roofing”) for allegedly violating the state’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and its Home Solicitation Sales Act when it failed to meet agreed upon work standards.
  • According to the complaint, United Roofing allegedly performed residential home improvement services in a substandard manner, did not correct or issue refunds for substandard work, and did not provide proper notice to consumers of cancellation rights.
  • The lawsuit seeks a $25,000 civil penalty, reimbursement for affected consumers, attorney’s fees, and a permanent injunction to prevent United Roofing from further violations.

Virginia Attorney General Reaches Settlement with Pawnbroker to Resolve Improper Pawn Loan Allegations

  • Virginia AG Mark Herring reached a settlement with pawnbroker 610 Pawn, Inc. (“610 Pawn”) to resolve allegations that the company violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (“VCPA”) and the state’s pawnbroker statutes for allegedly unlawful pawn loan terms.
  • According to the AG’s office, 610 Pawn allegedly charged consumers interest and fees beyond those permitted by the VCPA and the state’s pawnbroker statutes.
  • Under the terms of the settlement, 610 Pawn must pay $28,000 in refunds to borrowers, $6,000 in costs and attorney’s fees, and is permanently enjoined from further violations of the applicable laws.

Medicaid Fraud

Georgia Attorney General, U.S. Attorney Reach Settlement with Medical Center to Resolve Medicaid Fraud Allegations

  • Georgia AG Chris Carr’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia reached a settlement with the Medical Center of Central Georgia Inc., commonly known as Navicent Health (“Navicent”) to resolve allegations that it violated the federal and state false claims acts over ambulance services.
  • According to the AG’s office, Navicent allegedly engaged in an ambulance billing scheme under which it billed Medicaid for non-emergency ambulance transports at an inflated rate, claiming the transports were emergency trips, as well as billed for ambulance services that were neither appropriate nor medically necessary.
  • Under the terms of the settlement, Navicent will pay over $2.5 million to the U.S. and state of Georgia and comply with an updated Corporate Integrity Agreement to cover the inappropriate billing conduct.

State AGs in the News

Arizona Attorney General to Selected to Chair CWAG Executive Committee

  • The Conference of Western Attorneys General (“CWAG”) selected Arizona AG Mark Brnovich as its new Executive Committee Chairman during its annual Summer Meeting. AG Brnovich succeeds Hawaii AG Doug Chin.
  • AG Brnovich will serve as the Chair of CWAG during the 2017-2018 term and plans to prioritize data privacy and cybersecurity initiatives.
  • As Chair of CWAG, AG Brnovich will also sit on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”).