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Idaho Attorney General Says His Office recovered $8 Million In Consumer Restitution

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By Paul Johnson

Boise, Idaho (KMVT-TV) In a News release, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden unveiled his annual Consumer Protection report for 2011. Wasden said his office recovered a record $8 million in consumer restitution last year. In addition, the Consumer Protection Division recovered $2.5 million in penalties, fees and costs; received more than $24 million from the tobacco settlement, and returned $1.5 million in unspent consumer protection money to the general fund.

“Our most significant work in 2011 was in two areas: mortgage foreclosure and pharmaceutical pricing,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.

Wasden said mortgage-related complaints decreased more than 120% in 2011. The Attorney General received only 116 mortgage complaints in 2011, down from 261 in the previous year. Still, the mortgage category remained at number one on the Attorney General’s Top Ten Consumer Complaint List in a tie with motor vehicles.

In the pharmaceutical pricing area, the Attorney General’s Office recovered more than $8.5 million in settlements with 11 drug manufacturers last year. These cases involved the manufacturers reporting inflated “average wholesale prices” for prescription drugs. In some instances, the reported prices were exaggerated up to 2000% over the actual average wholesale price. As a result, Idaho Medicaid overpaid millions in taxpayer dollars for prescription drugs for low-income Idahoans. Since 2007, Wasden’s office has recovered more than $15.7 million for Idaho taxpayers. Three cases, naming 9 other drug manufacturers, are still pending.

Here is the Attorney General’s Top Ten Complaint list for 2011.


THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S 2011
TOP 10 COMPLAINT LIST
Category 2011
Complaints 2010
Complaints
1 LOANS & MORTGAGES

MOTOR VEHICLES 116

116 261

100
3 WORK-AT-HOME PROGRAMS 71 27
4 CABLE/SATELLITE SERVICES 70 83
5 DIRECTORY & AD SPACE 48 27
6 COLLECTIONS 40 39
7 LANDLORD/TENANT ISSUES 37 33
8 INTERNET SALES 34 43
9 MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS

MEMBERSHIP PLANS & CLUBS 31

31 24

30
ALL OTHER COMPLAINTS 435 705
TOTAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED 1,028 1,312


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