INVESTIGATIONS

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Anheuser-Busch Distributor Incentive Program Raises More Concerns Of A Stifled Craft Beer Market

With its $107 billion merger with SABMiller making waves and federal regulators investigating its purchase of several small distributors, one might think that Anheuser-Busch InBev would lay low when it comes to rocking the distribution boat. But that’s apparently not the case, as the company recently unveiled an incentive program that would provide distributors with a sliding scale of bonuses if most of the beer they sell comes from the brewer.   [More]

Subprime Credit Reporting Company To Pay $8M For Illegally Obtaining Consumers’ Credit Info

Subprime Credit Reporting Company To Pay $8M For Illegally Obtaining Consumers’ Credit Info

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, companies – and lenders – are allowed to access credit reports only for “permissible purposes,” like determining if a person is creditworthy. But federal regulators say a Florida-based subprime credit reporting company illegally obtained tens of thousands of consumers’ credit reports for use in marketing materials for potential clients, including payday lenders.

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Nestle Investigation Results: Yep, Your Cat’s Food May Have Been Caught By Slaves

In a series of recent lawsuits, consumers have taken issue with the treatment of workers on fishing boats from Thailand that work far out to sea. The issue got consumers’ attention after reports from non-governmental organizations and a New York Times investigative series this summer, and companies that buy and sell fish conducted their own investigations. Nestle has now concluded theirs, and admits that yep, there were vendors who severely mistreated along their supply chain. [More]

Feds Once Again Increase Scrutiny Of Allegiant Airlines After Repairs For Unsecured Bolts

Feds Once Again Increase Scrutiny Of Allegiant Airlines After Repairs For Unsecured Bolts

When an Allegiant Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Peoria was speeding down the runway and the nose lifted too soon, pilots aborted the takeoff. That August incident – in which a bolt was found to be insecure – led the budget carrier to inspect all of its aircraft. While the company deemed its planes were in working order, a new report suggests that might not be the case.  [More]

More Trouble For ITT Education Services: Agency Restricts For-Profit’s Use Of Federal Student Aid

More Trouble For ITT Education Services: Agency Restricts For-Profit’s Use Of Federal Student Aid

Just a month after for-profit college operator ITT Education Services announced it had become the focus of a federal fraud investigation, the Department of Education revealed it had placed restrictions on ITT Technical Institute’s use of federal grants and loans.  [More]

Federal Trade Commission Opens Probe Into Volkswagen’s “Clean Diesel” Advertising

Federal Trade Commission Opens Probe Into Volkswagen’s “Clean Diesel” Advertising

The list of state and federal agencies probing Volkswagen’s recent emissions scandal grew by one Wednesday: The Federal Trade Commission announced it has opened an investigation into the company’s advertisements that touted “clean diesel” vehicles, despite the fact the cars contained “defeat devices,” which are designed to cheat emissions tests. [More]

Under-Investigation Educators Still Received $8.1B In Federal Funds Last Year

Under-Investigation Educators Still Received $8.1B In Federal Funds Last Year

The federal government has ramped up its efforts to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive for-profit colleges in recent years: implementing so-called gainful employment rules this summer, discharging millions of dollars in student loans for students who were defrauded by Corinthian Colleges and restricting the University of Phoenix’s ability to participate in tuition-assistance programs for active-duty servicemembers. Still, these steps appear to have done little to keep questionable for-profit colleges from getting their hands on billions of dollars in funding straight from the government.  [More]

Report: Volkswagen Knew Of “Defeat Devices” Eight Years Before EPA Action

Report: Volkswagen Knew Of “Defeat Devices” Eight Years Before EPA Action

An internal review spurred by the emissions scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen over the past week found that the carmaker knew that so-called “defeat devices,” used to trick emissions tests, were used in more than 11 million VW and 2.1 million Audi diesel vehicles for several years before the Environmental Protection Agency issued a violation notice to the manufacturer ordering it to recall some 500,000 sedans[More]

ITT Educational Services Target Of Federal Fraud Investigation

ITT Educational Services Target Of Federal Fraud Investigation

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]

Yes, Owners Of Recalled Volkswagens Can File Deceptive Marketing Complaints With The FTC

Yes, Owners Of Recalled Volkswagens Can File Deceptive Marketing Complaints With The FTC

While Volkswagen and the EPA say the recently recalled VW and Audi diesel cars are safe to drive while waiting for the problem to be fixed, a number of car owners feel like they were tricked by the company’s “clean diesel” branding and slogans like “this ain’t your daddy’s diesel.” So what can these consumers do? One option is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. [More]

VW To Stop Selling Vehicles Affected By Emissions System Recall

VW To Stop Selling Vehicles Affected By Emissions System Recall

Two days after the Environmental Protection Agency took the unusual action of issuing a motor vehicle recall for nearly 500,000 Volkswagen and Audi sedans that used software to circumvent emissions tests, the car maker says it will stop selling all vehicles equipped with the same kind of diesel motors as those involved in recall. [More]

Allegiant Airlines Plans To Inspect All Planes After Yet Another Flight Disturbance

Allegiant Airlines Plans To Inspect All Planes After Yet Another Flight Disturbance

Last month, federal regulators announced they had stepped up scrutiny of budget carrier Allegiant Airlines after a string of in-flight disturbances and accusations from a pilot’s union of poor safety standards. Now, after yet another issue, the airline says it plans to inspect its entire fleet. [More]

Target Won’t Face SEC Charges Over Breach

Target Won’t Face SEC Charges Over Breach

Nearly two years after a massive data breach at Target left millions of consumers’ personal information at risk, the company announced it won’t face enforcement action from at least one government agency. [More]

Servicemembers At Failing For-Profit Schools Not Protected By Veterans Affairs

Servicemembers At Failing For-Profit Schools Not Protected By Veterans Affairs

When a for-profit college closes its doors, students are often left with hefty student loan tabs and little recourse. Some of those borrowers may be eligible for a discharge of their debts through the Dept. of Education, but others – like the thousands of veterans who used their GI Bill benefits to finance their education – are simply out of luck, often losing their chance to obtain a degree, thanks in part to failures within the Department of Veterans Affairs. [More]

Appeals Panel Hands Second Loss To DirecTV Over Rob Lowe Ads

Appeals Panel Hands Second Loss To DirecTV Over Rob Lowe Ads

Four months after an ad review board, acting on a complaint from Comcast, recommended DirecTV pull its quirky promotions featuring Rob Lowe and a parade of peculiar alter-egos, a review panel upheld the original findings that some of the spots contain unsubstantiated claims — despite the fact the ads are “very funny.” [More]

Why Didn’t Dept. Of Education Find Problems With Loan Servicer Fined $100M?

Why Didn’t Dept. Of Education Find Problems With Loan Servicer Fined $100M?

Last May, investigations by the Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation into student loans servicing resulted in a $100 million fine against government-contracted servicer Navient for allegedly violating federal laws limiting the amount of interest that can be charged on servicemember student loans. Following those investigations, the Department of Education undertook a review that found its four servicers – including Navient – weren’t cheating military personnel. With such conflicting reports, members of Congress are now getting involved, calling for an investigation into the Dept. of Education’s review process. [More]

Allegiant Under Increased Scrutiny From Regulators After Latest Flight Disturbance

Allegiant Under Increased Scrutiny From Regulators After Latest Flight Disturbance

After a string of in-flight disturbances and accusations from a pilot’s union of poor safety standards, the Federal Aviation Administration has stepped up its scrutiny of budget carrier Allegiant Airlines. [More]

Regulators Deny Request For Investigation Into 5 Million Fiat Chrysler Vehicles

Regulators Deny Request For Investigation Into 5 Million Fiat Chrysler Vehicles

Following a probe into 23 safety recalls and 11 million cars – which resulted in a record-setting $105 million fine – it appears that Fiat Chrysler is getting a little bit of good news from federal regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided to not open an investigation into nearly five million other vehicles over power system failures. [More]