Tag Archives: Federal Issues

Forced Arbitration: A Sneaky Rip-Off

Businessmanhave an ace under his sleeve while meet his client or partner

Update: The CFC submitted a letter in strong support of the proposed rule to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on August 22. View it here (pdf). When a bank or other financial institution engages in unfair, deceptive or downright abusive rip-offs, consumers should get their day in … Read More ›

Cable And Telecom Firms Score A Huge Win In Their War To Kill Municipal Broadband

by Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Tony Webster/Flickr

“ISPs, especially Comcast and AT&T, have lobbied for these restrictions all over the country,” says Andrew Jay Schwartzman, a veteran telecommunications consumer advocate. Read More ›

Prosecutors In PG&E Case Abruptly Reduce Potential Fines

by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

PG&E pipeline ignites an explosion in San Bruno 9/10/2010.

Abruptly and without explanation, federal prosecutors slashed potential criminal penalties for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. from $562 million to $6 million Tuesday while a jury was considering whether the company violated safety laws both before and after the lethal 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno. Read More ›

Details Emerge In Whistleblower Suit Against Ontario-Based Prime Healthcare

by Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Kate Ter Haar | Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice in June announced it was intervening in an employee’s whistleblower lawsuit against the company, which owns and operates 14 hospitals throughout the state, including facilities in San Dimas, Garden Grove, Anaheim, Inglewood and Encino. Read More ›

EFF Sues For Release Of Data On Decryption Requests

by Cheryl Miller, Recorder, San Francisco

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Digital liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday for documents that may shed light on how many times—if ever—the federal government has sought a secret court order forcing companies to decrypt consumers’ information. … The not-for-profit, following up on media reports about the government trying to obtain private source code, [previously] filed a FOIA request with the DOJ’s National Security Division requesting any applications to FISC for court orders seeking “technical assistance” in unlocking data. Read More ›

Broadband Industry: It’s Unfair If Facebook Can Collect Your Data, But AT&T Can’t

by Kate Cox, Consumerist

iStock

Later this week, the Federal Communications Commission will be voting on a proposal intended to protect some of your personal data from being shared by your Internet service provider, by requiring that the ISP first get your permission. … ISPs are the conduit for everything you do online, meaning they have access to a lot of potentially sensitive information about you … data about what sites you visit. When. For how long … Read More ›

Wells Fargo To Pay $1.2 Billion Over Bad Government-Backed Mortgages

by ff, Los Angeles Times

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If approved by a federal judge, the settlement would close the books on a 2012 lawsuit that the government filed against the bank over bad loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. … Between 2001 and 2005, prosecutors said, the bank issued thousands of FHA loans that did not meet the program’s requirements, which include minimum incomes and credit scores for borrowers. They also said that from 2002 to 2010, the bank violated federal reporting requirements by keeping problem loans under wraps and collecting insurance payouts when loans went bad. Read More ›

Why Procrastinating With Your Tax Return Could Cost You

by Jonnelle Marte, Washington Post

George Thomas / Flickr

“It’s even more important this year to file early,” says Melissa Labant director of tax advocacy for the American Institute of CPAs. “The later [people] wait, the more they increase the chances of having a criminal file on their behalf.” Take a look at what happened last year. On Feb. 5, Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, temporarily stopped processing state tax returns after noticing a surge in suspicious filings. Some states later reported that fraudulent activity had multiplied by nearly 40 times — and it was only a little more than two weeks into the filing season. Read More ›