Miyares and FTC sue sham charity

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares along with nine other states and the Federal Trade Commission are suing Cancer Recovery Foundation International and its operator Gregory B. Anderson.

The sham charity deceived donors looking to support women battling cancer and their families.

From 2017 to 2022, the fund collected over $18 million dollars from donors claiming to help women and families with their bills and basic needs during their battle with cancer.

In a federal complaint, the fund is accused of providing support with just 1 cent of each dollar raised while the majority went to for-profit fundraisers or directly to Anderson.

Of the $18 million dollars collected, $194,000 supported cancer patients while Anderson was paid $775,000.

Anderson also used funds to cover travel expenses.

He utilized for-profit fundraisers with deceptive pitches and solicitation letters to tens of thousands of Americans.

Virginia and the FTC previously sued two of those fundraising companies in 2021 for deceptive practices.

To view Miyares press release on the lawsuit, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

AG Miyares announces $500 million in opioid settlements

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced settlements totaling $500 million in response to the ongoing opioid crisis.

A $350 million settlement was reached with Publicis Health to resolve investigations into the marketing and communications firm’s role in the opioid crisis.

The terms of the settlement state that Publicis recognizes the harm caused by opioids and will provide communities hit hardest by the epidemic with financial support for treatment, recovery, and infrastructure with the goal of saving lives.

The company was accused of farming data from private recordings between patients and providers and marketing OxyContin to providers on patient’s health records.

The other settlement of $150 million was with Opioid manufacturer Hikma Pharmaceuticals for their role in the crisis.

From 2006-2021, Hikma failed to monitor suspicious orders of opioids from potentially illegal distributors with staff acknowledgement of inadequate systems.

The settlement will be dispersed with $115 million in cash and $35 million in opioid addiction medication.

Virginia is expected to receive a total of nearly $10 million dollars and to date, the Commonwealth has secured over $1 billion to recover from the drug crisis.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Miyares announces $30 million in relief for illegal student lending practices

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that student lender Prehired will be required to provide over $30 million in relief to student borrowers for making false promises of job placement, trapping students with “income share” loans that are against the law, and abusive collection practices.

The order was approved by a federal court and requires the company to cease operations, pay $4.2 million in redress to affected customers, and void all income share loans totaled at $27 million.

Prehired was based in Delaware and operated a 12-week online training program which claimed to prepare students for entry-level software sales roles with “six figure salaries” and a “job guarantee.”

The company also offered students income share loans to finance the costs of the program.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 10 additional states joined Miyares in the lawsuit in July earlier this year.

The lawsuit alleges borrowers were deceived by claiming its loans were not loans, kept borrowers in the dark about key information, tricked students with deceptive debt collection practices, and sued students in locations far away where they could not be present when they executed the financing contract.

Prehired students affected by this action can submit a claim through a link available here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

State of emergency and price gouging protections triggered by wildfires

Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency due to the wildfires in Madison and Patrick Counties.

The state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize additional resources in response and recovery efforts as the fire has become more challenging due to the drought conditions.

The declaration then triggered Virginia’s price gouging protections which are designed to protect consumers from paying exorbitant prices for necessities during a thirty day period following a state of emergency.

Violations of the act are enforceable by the Attorney General’s office and should be reported for investigation.

The basic test for determining price gouging is if the post-disaster price grossly exceeds the price 10 days prior.

Some of the items included are water, ice, food, generators, home repair materials, and tree removal services.

Consumers can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section for additional information or to file a complaint by:

  • Phone at (800)-552-9963
  • Email: consmuer@oag.state.va.us
  • Online Complaint Form, available here

For more information on price gouging, click here.

To view the Governor’s announcement, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.