Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, creditors are prohibited from discriminating against loan applicants based on race or national origin. But that was a rule Toyota’s financing unit allegedly violated, resulting in thousands of African-American, Asian and Pacific Islander borrowers paying higher interest rates than their white counterparts. Now, in an effort to resolve charges filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Toyota Motor Credit Corporation must pay $21.9 million to wronged consumers. [More]
Just a day after the Department of Justice filed a potential multibillion-dollar civil lawsuit against Volkswagen for installing so-called “defeat devices” in vehicles to skirt federal emissions standards, a new report says that the German automaker has run into difficulties finding a fix for the nearly 500,000 affected “clean diesel” cars in the U.S. [More]
It may be a new year, but that doesn’t mean Volkswagen can wash its hands of the ongoing diesel emissions scandal affecting 11 million vehicles. Today, the U.S. Dept. of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against the carmaker over its use of “defeat devices” to cheat on emissions tests.
Is it a crime to knowingly ship food to customers that may be contaminated with deadly foodborne pathogens? Earlier this year, executives from the Peanut Corporation of America were sentenced to federal prison for their roles in an outbreak that made thousands of people sick, killing nine. The beloved ice cream brand Blue Bell may be back on store shelves, but federal investigators are currently asking whether anyone should be held criminally responsible. [More]
You know how it’s almost impossible to ever see one of those big blockbuster films showing at the little movie theater down the street? That issue is largely the result of exclusive agreements between large theater chains and film studios that effectively prevent independent rivals from showing certain films. While these deals might be great for the bigger companies, they aren’t so awesome for consumers. And so, 10 state attorneys general are looking into whether or not the contracts used by Regal Cinemas, AMC Entertainment, and Cinemark constitute antitrust violations. [More]
McDonald’s has agreed to pay $355,000 in civil penalties as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, to resolve claims that the company discriminated against legal immigrants in the workplace.
UPDATE: For-Profit Education Company EDMC Agrees To Pay $95.5M To Settle Fraud, Recruitment Violations
UPDATE: Education Management Corporation, the operator of for-profit college chains such as Brown Mackie College, Argosy University and the Art Institutes, will pay $95.5 million to settle claims it violated state and federal False Claims Act (FCA) provisions regarding its recruiting practices. [More]
When two major companies decide to get along, it’s not quite so simple as exchanging friendship bracelets — each side usually sees some benefit. For example, airlines United and Delta want to get friendly, so they’ve agreed to swap slots at two New York City-area airports. One hitch, however, is that the United States Department of Justice isn’t a fan of the plan.
Despite Anheuser-Busch InBev’s attempt in recent years to get drunk on craft beer by padding its portfolio with small brewers like Golden Road, Goose Island and Blue Point Brewery, among others, the beverage behemoth is in talks with federal regulators over allegations that its recent purchase of distributors is a calculated attempt to shut the door on increasingly popular craft brews. [More]
“Redlining” is the act of denying services, either directly or through selectively raising prices, to residents of a certain area based on race or ethnicity. Federal law prohibits creditors from this type of discrimination, but New Jersey-based Hudson City Savings Bank is now on the hook for a total of nearly $33 million for allegedly providing unequal access to credit in parts of four states. [More]
Things don’t appear to have gotten better for for-profit college operator ITT Educational Services since it announced in September 2014 that it was under increased scrutiny from federal regulators, as the owner of the ITT Technical Institute chain revealed on Monday that the Department of Justice is looking into whether the company defrauded the federal government. [More]
Federal prosecutors are poised to settle a criminal investigation into General Motor’s mishandling of the ignition switch defect linked to more than 120 deaths and hundreds of injuries. [More]
When someone makes a promise that seems too good to be true: like saying you’ll be “stinkin’, filthy rich” if you invest in their green energy technology, it’s a good idea to look into that proposition with a little more scrutiny. That kind of attractive, yet ultimately worthless deal cost consumers nearly $54.5 million, federal prosecutors say. [More]
In most of the country, pharmacies can offer rewards points, coupons, or other inducements to get you to switch prescriptions to them. Not only is this illegal in certain states, it’s also illegal to offer these incentives to customers with health insurance through Medicaid. Kmart has settled allegations from a whistleblower that it did exactly that for customers with Medicaid, and accepted co-pay coupons for brand-name drugs for them. [More]
Man Charged With Operating Debt Collection Scheme That Targeted, Defrauded Spanish-Speaking Consumers
Deceiving consumers is a trademark for most unscrupulous operations attempting to collect debts that aren’t actually owed. Shady collectors have been known to lie about debts, misrepresent themselves as officers of the law, threaten lawsuits and, in the case of one operator, threaten Spanish-speaking residents with deportation. [More]