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AG STATEMENT ON 2018 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Attorney General Jim Hood released the following statement at the close of the 2018 legislative session: “Unfortunately for the taxpayers of Mississippi, the Senate leadership was bought and paid for this legislative session by giant corporations with little interest in the well-being of our citizens. As an example, campaign finance reports from 2010 through 2017 show that our lieutenant governor has raked in $193,750 in contributions from the companies that were awarded the contracts for the state’s Medicaid program. Of that amount, $50,000 was donated just last year to the lieutenant governor by Centene, the out-of-state parent company of Magnolia ...Continue Reading...

AG HOOD INVESTIGATING FACEBOOK’S USER PRIVACY PRACTICES

Attorney General Jim Hood sent a letter to Facebook, Inc. in March putting the social media giant on notice to preserve any relevant information for his investigation into the company’s user privacy practices in light of recent news about the company providing users’ personal information to third parties without users’ consent or knowledge. The investigation covers the time period starting in November 2013 and forward. General Hood is investigating whether Facebook violated the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act when it gave permission to University of Cambridge Professor Aleksandr Kogan to harvest information of users who downloaded his app, thisisyourdigitallife. Types of ...Continue Reading...

AG HOOD JOINS SUIT TO BLOCK NET NEUTRALITY ROLLBACK

Attorney General Jim Hood joined 22 attorneys general in filing a petition Thursday, February 22, to formally commence their lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission’s illegal rollback of net neutrality. “The repeal of net neutrality would have dire consequences for consumers and businesses in Mississippi and across the country who rely on and have a right to a free and open internet,” said General Hood. “A repeal would allow internet service providers to control and slow down consumers’ lawful internet activity, which is unfair and un-American.” As the Attorneys General will argue in their suit, under the Administrative Procedure Act ...Continue Reading...

Warning of a Recent Phone Scam

WARNING: a phone scam that challenges even the savviest consumer. Scammers realize that consumers are much wiser and more likely to reject calls from unfamiliar numbers. They use caller ID spoofing technology to impersonate a known or trusted phone number to trick potential victims into answering the phone. Here is how the scam works. The phone rings, and we recognize the number on the Caller ID. The caller id shows that it is a local business, a neighbor down the street, or even the consumer's own name and number. Because the number is known or familiar, the consumer answers the phone. ...Continue Reading...

EDMC to Change Practices & Forgive Loans through Agreement

For-profit education company Education Management Corporation (EDMC) will significantly reform its recruiting and enrollment practices, and forgive more than $1,229,321 in loans for approximately 1,358 Mississippi former students, through an agreement with Attorney General Hood and a group of state attorneys general. EDMC, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, operates 110 schools in 32 states and Canada through four education systems, including Argosy University, The Art Institutes, Brown Mackie College and South University. The agreement with attorneys general in 39 states plus the District of Columbia, through a lawsuit filed in Hinds County Chancery Clerk, First Judicial District, mandates added disclosures to ...Continue Reading...

Adams County Woman Going to Prison for Exploitation of Vulnerable Person

Evelyn Whatley, 59, of Natchez, has been sentenced after she admitted to taking $43,980 from a vulnerable woman in her care. Whatley appeared before Judge Forrest A. Johnson in Adams County Circuit Court on Monday and plead guilty to one count of exploitation of a vulnerable person. Judge Johnson sentenced Whatley to six years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, five years suspended with one year to serve and five years of post-release supervision. She was also ordered to pay the full restitution of $43,980 to the victim. At the time crimes were committed, Whatley was hired to ...Continue Reading...

Meridian Direct Care Worker of State Hospital Arrested for Sexual Battery of a Vulnerable Person

LaCarlos Presswood, 35, of Meridian, has been arrested for sexual battery of a vulnerable person while employed as a Direct Care Worker of a state hospital. Presswood turned himself in to Investigators of the Attorney General's Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit today following an indictment by a Lauderdale County Grand Jury for one count of sexual battery of a vulnerable person. The indictment alleges Presswood "willfully, unlawfully and feloniously engaged in sexual penetration with a vulnerable adult, as defined in §43-47-5 (q), of the Mississippi Code of 1972 Annotated, as amended, while being an employee of the health care facility ...Continue Reading...

Mississippi Supreme Court Upholds $30,110,618 Ruling Against Sandoz, Inc. for Common-Law Fraud and Violations of the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act

The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld a $30,110,618 ruling against generic pharmaceutical provider, Sandoz, Inc. and affirmed that the company committed common-law fraud against the State of Mississippi and violated the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act. This is a significant victory for the tax payers of Mississippi who were cheated by Sandoz, Inc. of more than $23 million dollars when the company lied about its prices and defrauded the state. The Attorney General's Office filed suit against Sandoz, Inc. after discovering that from 1991 to 1999 the company reported over-inflated fictitious "Average Wholesale Prices" (AWPs) to the national data service used by ...Continue Reading...

Hinds County Resident Going to Prison for Child Pornography

Cameron Travelstead, 25, of Jackson, is going to prison after his conviction in a child pornography case. Travelstead was sentenced Thursday by Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weil, Jr. on one count of possession of child pornography. Travelstead was convicted by a Hinds County Jury on October 16, 2015, following a week-long trial. Judge Weil sentenced Travelstead to 20 years with 12 years to serve and five years of post-release supervision. He must also register as a sex offender upon release. Travelstead will not be released until October 2027. Travelstead was arrested following a joint investigation involving the Attorney General's ...Continue Reading...

Local Oxford and Picayune Restaurants and Bars Receive Six Total Citations for Selling Alcohol to Minors

Investigators with the Mississippi Attorney General's Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement Division recently conducted alcohol and beer compliance checks in Oxford and Picayune resulting in the issuance of six total citations for selling alcohol to minors. In Oxford on October 23, the following businesses received citations when checked for compliance on selling alcohol to minors: Frank & Marlees                      1210 Harrison Avenue            2 VIOLATIONS Rib Cage of Oxford                311 South Lamar Boulevard    VIOLATION    2nd Offense w/in a year ...Continue Reading...