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]

Benedict Benedict

Prosecutors Find Evidence Of Criminal Behavior At VW, Says Report

Volkswagen recently agreed to pay $15 billion to settle some of the allegations involving the carmaker’s use of so-called “defeat devices” to cheat on emissions tests in diesel cars, but a new report says federal criminal charges could be in the offing for VW.  [More]

Alleged Mastermind Of Largest BitTorrent Site Arrested

Alleged Mastermind Of Largest BitTorrent Site Arrested

Nearly two years after authorities took popular pirating site The Pirate Bay down, federal authorities say they have arrested the mastermind behind another BitTorrent distribution site, Kickass Torrents.  [More]

For-Profit Educator Bridegepoint Education Under Investigation Over Federal Funding

For-Profit Educator Bridegepoint Education Under Investigation Over Federal Funding

Bridgepoint Education, the operator of for-profit colleges Ashford University and the University of the Rockies, added its name to the long list of higher education companies to find themselves on the receiving end of a federal investigation, as the Department of Justice has opened a probe into the organization’s federal student aid funding.  [More]

Nicholas Eckhart

Former Macy’s Employee Pleads Guilty To $3.5M Mail Fraud, Kickback Scheme

A Florida man could spend up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to taking part in a million-dollar, years-long shipping and kickback scheme involving his former employer Macy’s.  [More]

Steven Knapp

Yuengling To Pay Nearly $10M To Settle Pollution Allegations

Facing federal allegations of violating the Clean Water Act, D.G. Yeungling and Son, the country’s oldest brewing company, has agreed to pay nearly $3 million in penalties and invest $7 million for improvements to its two breweries in Pennsylvania.
[More]

Mike Mozart

Accused Of Violating Clean Air Act, Trader Joe’s To Spend $2M To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Trader Joe’s will spend $2 million over the next three years to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases leaked from the refrigeration systems at its 453 stores nationwide in order to resolve federal allegations that the company violated the Clean Air Act.  [More]

garryknight

Fortune Teller Admits Stealing Millions From Clients For Lifting Curses

Whether or not you believe in dark curses or not, you shouldn’t be paying someone your hard-earned cash to lift them. The Department of Justice says the former owner of a fortune teller business in Virginia pled guilty in federal court to committing mail fraud and laundering more than $1 million she stole from her victims, after telling them she was clairvoyant and could see into the past and the future.
[More]