Atwater Village Newbie

DirecTV Asks Court To Throw Out Justice Dept. Lawsuit Over SportsNet LA

It’s hard to be a baseball fan in Los Angeles. For what feels like ages, the LA Dodgers have had an exclusive deal with Time Warner Cable — now Charter — to air their games in the area. Other carriers reportedly have tried to get access to the games but were stymied, eventually leading to a complicated court case where the Justice Department sued DirecTV over allegations of colluding unlawfully with other carriers in negotiations with SportsNet LA. Now, DirecTV is fighting back. [More]

(Consumerist Dot Com)

Two Women Charged With Filing More Than 850 Fraudulent Tax Returns Worth $2.78M

Every year you hear about identity thieves filing tax returns in other peoples’ names in order to snatch their refunds, but you may not realize what a big business this is for some crooks. Case in point: A pair of Illinois women who have pleaded guilty to filing more than 850 bogus returns worth nearly $2.8 million in refunds. [More]

(https://www.flickr.com/photos/143601516@N03/29402709463)

Feds Ask Victims Of Nigerian Internet Scam To Step Forward

Did the “love of your life” scam thousand of dollars from you? Did someone promise that you could make the big bucks working from home? If you answered yes to one of these schemes, federal regulators may be looking for you following the conviction of three Nigerian nationals who allegedly scammed thousands of consumers with internet-based financial fraud schemes. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Costco Settles Federal Charges That It Turned Blind Eye To Bad Prescriptions

Costco has reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay $11.75 million to resolve federal allegations that the warehouse club’s pharmacies violated the Controlled Substances Act by filling prescriptions they probably shouldn’t have. [More]

Report: Fiat Chrysler Facing Criminal Probe Over Use Of Supposed “Defeat Devices”

Report: Fiat Chrysler Facing Criminal Probe Over Use Of Supposed “Defeat Devices”

In a week where Volkswagen and Takata both entered guilty pleas to criminal wrongdoing as part of settlements with federal prosecutors, the Department of Justice has reportedly opened a new investigation against Fiat Chrysler for its alleged failure to disclose so-called “defeat devices” in 100,000 vehicles. [More]

Samuel M. Livingston

3 Takata Execs Face Criminal Charges Over Handling Of Deadly Airbag Defect

For the second time in one week federal authorities have taken the rare step of bringing criminal charges against auto industry executives for alleged wrongdoing. Today, the Justice Department announced criminal indictments against a trio of execs at auto parts maker Takata for their involvement with the shrapnel-shooting airbags that have been linked to at least 11 deaths. [More]

Thomas Hawk

Feds Bring Criminal Charges Against 6 Volkswagen Executives

In a rare instance of criminal charges being brought against executives at one of the world’s largest car companies, federal authorities have indicted six Volkswagen employees involved in the decade-long “Dieselgate” scandal and cover-up.  [More]

Steven Depolo

GNC Agrees To Improve Efforts To Keep Illegal Dietary Supplements Out Of Its Stores

When you buy a dietary supplement, you never know quite what you’re getting, because supplement manufacturers don’t have to prove to the Food and Drug Administration that their products work — or are even safe — before putting them on the market. GNC, the world’s largest dietary supplement retailer, has now agreed to try to ramp up efforts to ensure that the products it sells are safe and legal. [More]

Princess Cruise Line

Cruise Line To Pay Record $40M For Deliberately Dumping Oil Into Ocean

Purposefully dumping large quantities of oil into the ocean is not okay. Trying to cover up those actions is also frowned upon. Yet, it appears that some employees of Princess Cruise Lines did just that, and now the subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines must pay the largest-ever criminal penalty for intentionally polluting the ocean: $40 million.  [More]

photographynatalia

Senators Make Last-Ditch Attempt To Block Expanded Government Hacking Authority

There’s a change coming that could arguably make it a lot easier for feds to snoop through your digital stuff, even if you’ve done nothing but been the victim of some malware. If Congress doesn’t act to stop it, that change to Rule 41 becomes effective basically at midnight tonight. So a handful of Senators who want to block it are all but begging their colleagues to act now. [More]

Where Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions Comes Down On Consumer Issues

Where Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions Comes Down On Consumer Issues

The election may feel like it happened just yesterday, but it’s now ten days behind us, and the building transition to the administration turnover in January is well underway. As part of that, today we learned President-Elect Donald Trump’s top choice for a key role that affects consumers and consumer rights nationwide: he will nominate Sen. Jefferson Sessions of Alabama as Attorney General. [More]

Why AT&T Is Buying Time Warner, And Why So Many People Aren’t Happy About It

Why AT&T Is Buying Time Warner, And Why So Many People Aren’t Happy About It

The time from new rumor to signed deal was only about two days, and yet here we are: AT&T is putting the moves on Time Warner, planning to bring the content powerhouse under its roof. This proposal will now, of course, have to grind its way through the gears of government approval. But while this proposal is a giant deal for two giant companies, the name that’s likely to come up more than any other in all the comments back-and-forth is neither Time Warner nor AT&T, but rather a competitor: Comcast. [More]

eyetwist

Operators Of Scammy Payday Lender Ordered To Pay $1.26 Billion

Four years after federal regulators sued the operators behind what might have been the scammiest payday loan Consumerist had ever seen, a federal judge has ordered Scott Tucker and his businesses to pay $1.26 billion to the Federal Trade Commission to resolve allegations of running online payday lending operations that exploited more than 5 million consumers.  [More]

Oregon Department Of Justice Announces Investigation Of Coolest

Oregon Department Of Justice Announces Investigation Of Coolest

Back in 2014, the Coolest was a Kickstarter hit that drew even more backers as it appeared on national TV. It crushed records as well as crushing ice in its built-in blender. Yet over two years later, all of the original backers still don’t have their coolers, even as the Coolest is available in brick-and-mortar retail stores and on Amazon. Now the Oregon Department of Justice is investigating the company behind the Coolest, which is based in Portland. [More]

Mike Mozart

Wells Fargo On The Hook For $24.5M Over Servicemember Abuses

Wells Fargo’s bad month has just gotten worse. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have fined the big bank $24.1 million for allegedly violating the law by repossessing military servicemembers’ cars.
[More]

(Juan Cabanillas)

State, Federal Agencies Crack Down On Companies That Allegedly Facilitate Mail Fraud Of Elderly

Each year, millions of elderly consumers are lured into mail fraud schemes by all-too-attractive claims that they have won unimaginable prizes, like millions of dollars or trips around the world. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice took unprecedented steps to ensure these scammers no longer victimize older Americans by announcing action against companies that they allege are some of the little-known perpetrators of the alleged schemes: the payment processor, mailer printers, and lead generators.

[More]

Matt McGee

Harley-Davidson To Pay $15M To Resolve Creation Of “Super Tuners” That Violate Emission Standards

Turns out that the use of so-called “defeat devices” to cheat federal emissions standards isn’t just relegated to four-wheeled vehicles made by Volkswagen. Harley-Davidson today agreed to settle charges it violated the Clean Air Act by paying $15 million, as well as buying back and destroying nearly 340,000 “super tuners” that emit higher amounts of certain air pollutants than what the company certified to EPA.  [More]