Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia

Consumer Protection Quarterly Newsletter

Stay on top of all the latest news from the Attorney General of Virginia's Consumer Protection Section. Subscribe now!

 

Consumer Protection Newsletter

Winter 2022 

Covered in this Edition: 

 

Virginia Expected to Receive More Than Half a Billion Dollars from Opioid Distributors and Johnson & Johnson


Attorney General Herring Helps Secure Up to $40 Million from Vyera Pharmaceuticals and Obtains Ban Against Corporate Executive


Colonial Pipeline Price Gouging Settlements


Herring Announces Investigation of Instagram’s Impact on Young People


Attorney General Continues Fight Against Robocalls


Attorney General Herring Sues Google for Antitrust Violations Regarding App Store


Herring Also Sues to Block Domestic Alliance Between American Airlines and JetBlue


Attorney General Holds Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers’ Founder Accountable for Deceiving Consumers


Herring’s Consumer Protection Section Leads Multistate Settlement with StubHub Regarding Failure to Provide Refunds for Canceled Events


Herring Helps Protect Student Borrowers


$411 Million Recovered During Herring Administration


Attorney General Herring Transfers Over $10 Million to General Fund


File a Complaint


Check Out Businesses in Our Consumer Complaint Database


Attorney General Herring Sues Google for Antitrust Violations Regarding App Store

Attorney General Herring’s Antitrust Unit joined a coalition of 37 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against Google, alleging exclusionary conduct relating to the Google Play Store for Android mobile devices and Google Billing. The antitrust lawsuit accuses Google of using its dominance to unfairly restrict competition with the Google Play Store, harming consumers by limiting choice and driving up app prices. Read more about the suit here

 Herring Also Sues to Block Domestic Alliance Between American Airlines and JetBlue

Attorney General Herring joined the U.S. Department of Justice and six other attorneys general in filing suit to block an unprecedented series of agreements between American Airlines and JetBlue through which the two airlines will consolidate their operations in Boston and New York City. The suit alleges that this “Northeast Alliance” will eliminate important competition in these cities and also harm air travelers across the country by significantly diminishing JetBlue’s incentive to compete with American elsewhere, including at Reagan National Airport in Virginia. Read more about the suit here.

scam alert starburst

Subscribe to receive our OAG Scam Alert newsletter to stay on top of all the latest scam information in Virginia.

Virginia Expected to Receive More Than Half a Billion Dollars from Opioid Distributors and Johnson & Johnson

Virginia is expected to receive approximately $530 million from opioid distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal, and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson as a result of a multiyear investigation into the role opioid manufacturers and distributors played in creating and prolonging the opioid crisis in Virginia and across the country. Attorney General Herring recently announced that 100% of required Virginia localities and stakeholders have agreed to the national $26 billion settlement, enabling Virginia to receive the maximum amount of money available to state and local governments as quickly as possible. A majority of the funds will be deposited into the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority to fund opioid abuse prevention, education, treatment, and recovery efforts. Read more about the settlement here. Read more about the participation of Virginia localities here

Attorney General Herring Helps Secure Up to $40 Million from Vyera Pharmaceuticals and Obtains Ban Against Corporate Executive    

The Attorney General’s Antitrust Unit, along with six other attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission reached an agreement to end the illegal and monopolistic behavior of Vyera Pharmaceuticals (previously known as Turing Pharmaceuticals) and one of its former CEOs Kevin Mulleady. The agreement requires the company to pay up to $40 million and bans Mulleady from almost any role at a pharmaceutical company for seven years. Vyera and Mulleady stifled competition after raising the price on lifesaving drug Daraprim (pyrimethamine) more than 4,000%. Read more about the settlement here

 

Colonial Pipeline Price Gouging Settlements

Attorney General Herring has announced several settlements regarding alleged violations of the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act during the state of emergency that was declared on May 11, 2021 in response to a temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies motor fuels and other petroleum-based products to a large portion of the east coast. Tahir and Sons LLC d/b/a Interstate Fuel LLC will disgorge $15,166.75 in excess profits made from the offending sales and pay $3,500 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees. Terry Singh Corp. d/b/a Waynesboro Marathon disgorged $1,394.15 in excess profits and paid $2,500 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees. Read more about the Interstate Fuel and Waynesboro Marathon settlements here.  In addition, Saly Inc. d/b/a RIR Mart Exxon paid $2,500 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees, and disgorged $305.20 in excess profits. Read more about the RIR Mart Exxon settlement here. Also, 7HC Inc. d/b/a 7 Heaven BP paid $2,000 in attorneys’ fees and distributed $2,858.70 in refunds to 152 consumers through credit card reimbursements and direct cash refunds. Read more about the 7 Heaven BP settlement here

Herring Announces Investigation of Instagram’s Impact on Young People

Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section joined a nationwide investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, for providing and promoting its social media platform – Instagram – to children and young adults despite knowing that such use is associated with physical and mental health harms. Read more about the multistate investigation here.

Attorney General Continues Fight Against Robocalls

In November, Attorney General Herring wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of its efforts to reduce illegal robocallers’ access to legitimate phone numbers to make unending robocalls that scam people out of their hard-earned money. Read more about the bipartisan letter to the FCC here. In August, Herring urged the FCC to fight back against the scourge of illegal robocalls by moving up the deadline for smaller telephone companies to implement caller ID technology. Read more about the multistate comments to the FCC here.

Attorney General Holds Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers’ Founder Accountable for Deceiving Consumers

Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section secured a consent judgment against Charles D. Warren, Jr., the founder of Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers (SDWR), a Virginia-based company that sold purported service dogs to consumers nationwide. Herring filed suit against SDWR and Warren, alleging that they deceived consumers and violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions law. As part of the settlement, Warren will have to pay restitution to consumers and be subject to a lifetime ban from charitable organizations and breeding, training, or selling companion animals. Read more about the settlement here.

Herring’s Consumer Protection Section Leads Multistate Settlement with StubHub Regarding Failure to Provide Refunds for Canceled Events

Attorney General Herring resolved a multistate investigation led by his Consumer Protection Section into California-based StubHub, Inc. concerning the company’s refusal to pay refunds to consumers for concerts, sports events, and other events that were canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 8,300 Virginia consumers were affected by StubHub’s actions and were given the option to obtain refunds from the company. Read more about the settlement here.

Attorney General Herring Sues Richmond Landlords for Allegedly Defrauding Tenants

Herring’s Consumer Protection Section filed suit against two Richmond-based landlords, JumpStart University and Vasilios Education Center, and the operator of both companies, Carl Vaughan, for allegedly defrauding tenants in the Richmond metropolitan area in violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.  Among other things, the suit alleges that Vaughan, through both companies, solicited low-income tenants by promising “wraparound services,” such as credit counseling, education services, and assistance with obtaining employment, but ultimately failed to provide these services. Read more about the suit here.

Herring Helps Protect Student Borrowers

Following Attorney General Herring’s supportive comments, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) adopted regulations implementing the “bill of rights” for Virginia student borrowers – laws that protect borrowers by regulating student loan servicers in Virginia. In its order, the SCC specifically noted the influence Attorney General Herring’s comments had on its decision saying, “[w]e have considered all the comments filed in this matter, including those from the Attorney General, which we find persuasive.” The Office of Attorney General has authority under these new laws to investigate claims of misconduct by student loan servicers and to take action when appropriate. Read more about the comments to the SCC here.

$411 Million Recovered During Herring Administration

Since he took office in January 2014, Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section has recovered approximately $411 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators. These sums include $71.8 million in restitution and $264.4 million in loan forgiveness for consumers as well as $74.6 million in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees paid to the Commonwealth.

Attorney General Herring Transfers Over $10 Million to General Fund

At the close of the fiscal year on June 30, 2021, Attorney General Herring transferred $10,316,887 to the Commonwealth’s General Fund.  This money was recovered primarily by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section while enforcing antitrust and consumer protection laws.  Since 2014, the Consumer Protection Section has transferred approximately $69 million to the General Fund.

Check Out Businesses in Our Consumer Complaint Database

Before doing business with a company, check to see if any complaints have been filed with our office.  The Virginia Attorney General’s Office serves as the central clearinghouse for consumer complaints in Virginia.  You can search our complaint database to find the number of complaints filed against a specific business, whether the complaints are open or closed, and a description of the outcome of individual complaints.  While the filing of a complaint with our office and entry in our database is not a finding of wrongdoing, you might find the available complaint information helpful as you decide whether to do business with a particular company.  Search our consumer complaint database.


File a Consumer Complaint

We handle a variety of consumer complaints against businesses operating in Virginia, but not all complaints fall within our jurisdiction. Before filing a complaint with our office you can use our Agency Search feature to find the right agency to handle your complaint.

If you have experienced a problem with a business or have an issue that you need help resolving, we are here to try to help you.  The best place to start is by visiting our web site: www.ag.virginia.gov.  There you will find a lot of information to guide you in filing your complaint with the right agency - our office or another appropriate local, state or federal agency. 

The most efficient way to file your complaint with our office is by filling out our online complaint form which can be accessed by clicking on our web site link above and choosing the Consumer Protection link. 

If after visiting our web site you still have questions about how or where to file your complaint, please contact our Consumer Protection Hotline.  Our telephone counselors are there to help you.  Call one of the numbers below to speak with one of our telephone counselors:
 
1-800-552-9963 – (within Virginia)
(804) 786-2042 (in the Richmond area or outside VA) 

 
File a Consumer Complaint
 
Visit Our Website!