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  • Schuette Reminds Residents of Ways to File Consumer Complaints

    Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is reminding residents of the consumer complaint process. Complaints may be submitted three ways.

    1. Online by filling out a Online Consumer Complaint/Inquiry

    2. By mail to:

      Consumer Protection Division
      P.O. Box 30213
      Lansing, MI 48909-7713

    3. By fax: 517-241-3771

    Before submitting a complaint, remember to check the Complaint Directory to ensure your complaint is filed correctly as to avoid unnecessary delays.

    For detailed instructions on what to include when filing a complaint visit the Consumer Complaint Directory section of the website.

    If you have any questions, please call the Consumer Protection Division Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at 517-373-1140 or toll free 877-765-8388.



RECENT NEWS

Press Releases
Schuette: Former State Rep. Brian Banks Sentenced on Charge of Filing False Financial Statements

February 17, 2017

 

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that former State Rep. Brian Banks, of Harper Woods, was sentenced to one day in jail - time served. Banks pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing financial false statements on February 6, 2017. 

“Former Rep. Banks pleaded guilty, admitting he did indeed commit the crime for which he was sentenced,” said Schuette. “I am pleased to see this case come to a close and that the residents of his district have the chance to get an honest, hardworking and law-abiding representative.”

Schuette first charged Banks, 40, with four criminal charges related to falsifying documents to obtain a loan from a Detroit-area credit union in June of 2016.

On February 6, 2017 Banks submitted a letter of resignation to House Speaker Tom Leonard. The resignation was effective immediately. Following his resignation, a plea agreement was presented to Banks that resulted in the felony charges being dropped. 

Case Background

The Department of Attorney General filed felony charges against Banks in June 2016. The charges stemmed from Banks’ application for a $7,500 loan using pay statements from his alleged employer, IHI Attorneys + Consultants of Farmington. Banks claimed to work for the company, but through the course of the investigation, it was discovered that he had never worked at or with IHI Attorneys + Consultants, and the check issued originated with a payroll company the firm never used.

A special election to fill the House Seat left open by Banks has been scheduled for August.

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Schuette Statement on Nassar Case being Bound Over For Trial

February 17, 2017

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today released the following statement on the Nassar case being bound over for trial:

“I am grateful for the dedication of the Michigan State University Police Department and the prosecutors in the Department of Attorney General for their continued hard work on this case. I admire the courage of the young woman who had to relive her terrifying experience and I am grateful that Judge Allen bound over Dr. Nassar on these extremely serious charges.”

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Florida Charity to Pay Over $100k to Breast Cancer Research, and is Banned from Soliciting in Michigan for Ten Years Due to Deceptive Fundraising

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced a settlement with Florida nonprofit Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation, Inc. The settlement resolves the Attorney General’s claims that, in 2015, the group deceptively raised $1.4 million nationwide, including at least $36,372 in Michigan. The group’s solicitations told donors that funds raised would be used for breast cancer research grants. In reality, all the money raised, except for one $8,235 grant, went to professional fundraisers and other expenses—not breast cancer research.

“In recent years, my office has combatted deceptive solicitations for cancer, veterans, firefighters, and police. It’s sad to see these causes exploited,” said Schuette. “Donors should remain vigilant during solicitations—especially regarding emotional appeals for sympathetic causes. And it bears repeating: research the charity before giving.”

In settlement, Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation will pay $150,000, with $125,000 paid for breast cancer research and the remaining $25,000 to recoup the State’s investigative costs. Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation will also withdraw its charitable solicitations registration and is banned from soliciting in Michigan for ten years.

Background

In January 2017, the Attorney General issued a Notice of Intended Action against Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation, alleging 14,542 civil violations of charitable solicitations fraud, with maximum penalties of $10,000 per violation. In 2015, Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation raised $1,425,201, telling donors that funds raised would be used for grants for breast cancer research in support of a breast cancer vaccine. However, the Foundation’s financials failed to disclose any breast cancer research grants in 2015. In response to the allegations, the Foundation amended its financials and documented one grant of $8,235 for breast cancer research. But all the other money Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation raised was used for other purposes: to pay its professional fundraisers, the company executive’s salary, or other expenses.

The Attorney General’s investigation into Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation stemmed from the Attorney General’s 2016 investigation into professional fundraiser Corporations for Character, an investigation which resulted in a monetary settlement and the fundraiser’s withdrawal from the state. Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation used Corporations for Character for some of its fundraising, a fact which led the Attorney General to scrutinize the charity’s own fundraising practices.

The Attorney General’s January Notice of Intended Action ordered Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation to cease and desist the alleged violations, giving them twenty-one days to resolve the matter or face a civil action in court. In addition, the Attorney General also issued Breast Cancer Outreach Foundation a Notice of Intent to deny its charitable solicitations registration.

Attorney General Resources for Charitable Giving

To assist individuals in making wise decisions regarding which charitable donations to support, Attorney General Schuette established an online searchable database for charities. The Attorney General also publishes an annual professional fundraising charitable solicitation report. Through these resources, users have access to information to aid them in determining which charities are worth supporting—and which are not. The Attorney General's Charitable Trust Section is also available at 517-373-1152 to answer inquiries about a charity.

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Schuette: Ingham County Court Room Attacker Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that Joshua Harding, 35, of Okemos, pleaded guilty to three felony charges related to his August 2016 courtroom attack on Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor Jonathan Roth.

Harding entered his plea before Judge William Collette in Ingham County Circuit Court on Monday, February 13, 2017. He pleaded guilty to the following:

  • Assault To Commit Murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison;
  • Carrying A Concealed Weapon, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and;
  • Possession of a Weapon in Jail, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

An additional charge of terrorism was dismissed by the judge in January 2017.

Harding is scheduled to be sentenced on March 15, 2017.

“Prosecutors like Mr. Roth go to work every day and seek to provide justice for Michigan victims and Mr. Harding brazenly threatened his ability to do that,” said Schuette. “I am grateful that this case is growing closer to a close and want to once again commend the quick action of the officers involved in thwarting this attack, if not for their actions the result of this attack could have been much worse.”

Case Background

On August 2, 2016, just prior to a jury convicting Harding of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, he removed a shank from his shirt sleeve and rushed towards Assistant Prosecutor Roth attempting to stab him in the head in the middle of an open court room in downtown Lansing.

Harding was sentenced to at least 19 years in prison on September 21, 2016 on the Ingham County Criminal Sexual Conduct charge he was in court for at the time of the attack.

Harding was charged in the court room attack on September 22, 2016. He was charged as a Habitual Offender.

 

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Be Alert: Schuette Recognizes Today as Safer Internet Day

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today encourages everyone to use Safer Internet Day, February 7, 2017, as a way to brush up on a number of practices that help protecting their privacy on the Internet.

“Protecting ourselves on the Internet begins by using common sense,” said Schuette. “It’s important to know your privacy options before sharing information online, whether you’re purchasing from business sites, sharing posts on social media, or just using your smart phone. Consumers must always be on alert.”

Schuette issued a short video with tips on how to stay safe on the Internet. The tips include:

  • Check privacy settings - filtering by preference who can see your location, posts, photos, and other information.
  • Don’t give out personal information - If someone you don’t know contacts you for payment information, passwords, or other details, don’t give them anything. Hang up the phone and call or email the organization directly.
  • Contact Law enforcement - if you encounter a real threat or suspicious behavior make sure to report it to the authorities.

Safer Internet Day is an international education and awareness-raising effort spanning more than 100 countries. Help inform others by using hashtag #SID2017 on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information and tips about how to safeguard personal information online, visit the Safer Internet Day website. For additional tips on how to protect social media accounts visit the twitter and Facebook safety centers.

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