CWAG ANNUAL MEETING REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), Oregon Attorney General and CWAG Chair Ellen Rosenblum along with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden invite you to join your colleagues for the CWAG Annual Meeting, July 17-20, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho at the Sun Valley Resort. A working draft agenda is attached to this Roundup. Please be aware that this is a draft agenda and it may change significantly prior to the actual meeting.
Registration: You may register online at www.cwagweb.org/sunvalley/registration or print off a registration packet from the website and email the forms to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have not yet registered we encourage you to do so as soon as possible and no later than June 30 to ensure inclusion in our events.
Onsite Registration: Pre-registering for primary attendees and guests who would like to attend any of the substantive or social opportunities is required. CWAG must make commitments to the hotel and activity vendors based on pre-registered guests prior to our arrival. The registration fees cover the cost of activities and meals at the conference which have been pre-arranged. Given the necessity of pre planning, we will not be accepting any onsite registrations.
Room Block Sold Out: Despite our best efforts to gauge CWAG attendance, over the past several years the CWAG room block has sold out quickly and well before the "official" cutoff date. This year has proven to be no exception and our room block is currently sold out. Part of the problem is we run up against limitations in the size of resorts located in the scenic locations our guests love in the West.
We recommend you call the resort reservations number at 880.786.8259 to inquire about any possible room availability due to a cancellation prior to booking a room offsite. If no rooms are available below is a list of nearby hotels. Individuals should make a personal reservation as CWAG does not have any arrangements with them.
ALLIANCE PARTNERSHIP BINATIONAL EXCHANGE MEETING
The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) Alliance Partnership, CWAG Chair and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum along with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden cordially invite you to attend the 2016 CWAG Alliance Partnership Binational State Attorneys General Exchange.
The Binational State Attorneys General Exchange will be held from July 16 to July 17 at the Sun Valley Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho, prior to the CWAG Annual Meeting which runs from July 17-20, 2016.
CWAG has confirmed the attendance of Mexico's Federal Attorney General Arely Gomez Gonzalez, and anticipates approximately 25 state Attorneys General from Mexico and the United States to be in attendance at the Binational Exchange, in addition to other federal and private partners.
There is no separate registration fee for the Binational State Attorneys General Exchange. Please confirm your participation by emailing CWAG Alliance Partnership Deputy Director, Lauren Niehaus at LNiehaus@cwagweb.org or by phone at 303-827-9039. The Binational Exchange is open to all attendees on a space available basis.
DRAFT AGENDA: CWAG State Attorneys General Binational Exchange
Saturday July 16, 2015
7:00pm - Welcome Reception and Dinner
Sunday July 17, 2016
9:00am - 3:00pm - Binational AG Exchange
6:15pm - CWAG Annual Meeting Opening Dinner (with Mexican AG Delegation)
MONTANA MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISION HONORED
CWAG Attorney General Tim Fox of Montana announced his Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) recently received two awards from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). "Our Motor Vehicle Division has worked hard to offer outstanding customer service and convenience to the public, to Montana's auto dealers, and to our law enforcement community," said General Fox. "I'm pleased our MVD team has been recognized for its efforts to integrate technology and best practices to offer tax payers improved and efficient services." The first honor MVD received from AAMVA was its Customer Convenience Award for MVD's Drivers Services Appointment Scheduling System. This system replaced an outdated program with an on-line system that's mobile friendly and enables customers to schedule, change, or cancel their appointments. Secondly, AAMVA honored MVD with the Improvement through Efficiencies Award for the division's Montana Vehicle Dealer Licensing Efficiency Project.
CWAG Attorney General Sean Reyes of Utah announced certain law enforcement cooperative agreements signed by the State of Utah and the Ute Tribe. "It was an honor to visit Chairman Shaun Chapoose and other members of the Ute Council in their offices and on their sacred land to sign these historic agreements. I applaud the Ute Tribe, county commissioners, law enforcement leaders, the Governor and his team and all in the Attorney General's Office who have worked so diligently over the years to re-establish these accords. While each of the parties acknowledges that there remains issues to resolve, today's signing is a significant move in the right direction, toward mutual understanding, cooperation, health, safety, prosperity and respect."
CWAG Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California and the Attorneys General of Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and the State of Hawaii, Office of Consumer Protection sent a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee expressing opposition to an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) proposed by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) that would allow any college approved for military tuition benefits to have unrestricted access to recruit on military bases. "Predatory schemes targeting veterans are unconscionable," said General Harris. "The proposed amendment would weaken current rules intended to protect our service members, and harm veterans by making them vulnerable to fraud and exploitation. We must protect our nation's veterans and service members from predators who would exploit them for their educational benefits."
CWAG Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman of Colorado announced that 5,000 Colorado consumers will share in millions of dollars after several lenders were ordered to repay excessive and illegal loan costs. The Attorney General's Office reached a settlement agreement with CashCall, Inc., WS Funding, LLC, Delbert Services Corporation, and J. Paul Reddam to resolve allegations that they made, serviced, and collected high-cost loans in violation of Colorado's consumer credit protection laws. According to the Attorney General, Defendants made, serviced, and collected personal loans - some of which had annual percentage rates exceeding 355% - to over 5,000 Colorado consumers. In the most egregious cases, consumers paid over five times the amount they borrowed in unlawful fees and interest. "I am pleased to be returning money to Coloradans who were ripped off by these unscrupulous operators," said General Coffman. "This is not the way we do business in our state."
An online car title lender that charged outrageous interest rates and took consumers' cars with little or no warning is now banned from making loans in North Carolina, CWAG Associate Attorney General Roy Cooper announced. "Families who need a little extra money to deal with an illness or a layoff deserve a fair loan, not a rip off," General Cooper said. "North Carolina has long made illegal these expensive loans with excessive interest rates, and my office is here to enforce the law for consumers." General Cooper filed suit last week against the lender, which does business as Autoloans, Car Loan, Sovereign Lending Solutions and Title Loan America, for charging North Carolina consumers average interest rates of 257 percent on loans of $1,000 to $2,500. Title loans are small dollar loans secured by consumers' car titles. State law caps interest rates on such loans at 30 percent for licensed lenders and at 16 percent for unlicensed lenders, such as the defendants.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia announced a $336,000 settlement with Avant, Inc. to resolve allegations the online lender's business practices violated the state's Consumer Credit and Protection Act. The settlement involves allegations related to the marketing, promoting and enabling of 90 unsecured consumer loans from April to August 2014 in West Virginia. "It is our duty to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices," General Morrisey said. "We work hard to enforce the state's consumer protection laws to ensure businesses operate legally and fairly." The settlement alleges Avant led consumers to believe that it was licensed to make loans in West Virginia and do so with higher interest rates than permitted by state law. It also alleges Avant caused unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding, misled consumers as to its affiliation with foreign banks and advertised loans and credit services with intent not to sell the services as advertised.
CWAG Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman of Colorado announced that Colorado businesses have new anti-fraud resources available on her office's www.stopfraudcolorado.gov website. "Legitimate businesses can be targeted by fraudulent and deceptive schemes just as easily as individual consumers," said General Coffman. "Some scams, like phony invoices, bogus classified advertising, and corporate filing schemes have been around for decades. More recently, businesses are being targeted by identity thieves and patent trolls." The "It's Your Business" page on www.stopfraudcolorado.gov offers information and resources on a variety of topics, including business identity theft, data breaches, fraudulent invoice scams, and patent assertion fraud. The site also provides advice on protecting customers' personal and financial information, working with the Colorado Secretary of State, and other practical business resources.
A draft of Utah's lawsuit demanding the federal government turn over 30 million acres to the state is expected to be completed soon. Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, co-chairman of the Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands, said he plans to have a finished draft of the state's potential lawsuit to present to lawmakers when they hold their monthly meetings June 15. It would be up to CWAG Attorney General Sean Reyes and Governor Gary Herbert to decide whether to file the complaint, committing the state to litigation with a projected price tag of $14 million. In total, the commission has spent more than $900,000 for a legal analysis of the argument that Utah is entitled to claim ownership of federal lands in the state and for the drafting of the complaint. Stratton said the commission budgeted $2 million for the work and managed to come in well under budget.
CWAG Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt of Nevada joined 20 other states in filing a complaint in the United States Supreme Court against the State of Delaware for alleged violations of the Disposition of Abandoned Money Orders and Traveler's Checks Act. The complaint seeks the return of an estimated $200 million from the State of Delaware to the 21 affected states, including Nevada. "The State of Delaware has disregarded the law and misappropriated unclaimed MoneyGram checks for financial gain," said General Laxalt. "My Office remains committed to returning these funds back to their respective states, and claiming what rightfully belongs to the State of Nevada." Joining Nevada are CWAG states Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch last week, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa urged the Justice Department to reject any remedy to the pending mega-merger in the beer industry that does not address the competitive effects arising from MillerCoors' decision to close its highly efficient brewery in Eden, North Carolina. The proposed acquisition by Anheuser Busch-InBev of its largest competitor SABMiller is currently under review by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, along with the related sale of SAB's stake in the MillerCoors joint venture to Molson Coors. "The companies involved, no doubt, would like to see the investigation wrapped up in short order so they can complete their mega-merger," Hoffa said. "Their desire to expedite cannot take precedence over the need to 'get it right' for consumers and working families."