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Press Releases

West Topsham Woodchip Supplier to Pay Penalty & Restitution for Overcharging Consumers

August 5, 2022

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office today announced a settlement with heating woodchip supplier Limlaw Pulpwood Inc. and its related businesses for violating the Vermont Consumer Protection Act by falsifying the weight of its woodchip loads. The Attorney General’s Office investigated after receiving a report from the Agency of Agriculture regarding concerns that Limlaw was deceptively weighing its woodchip loads to make deliveries seem heavier, resulting in overcharges to consumers.

Vermont Joins Nationwide Anti-Robocall Task Force

August 2, 2022

Vermont has joined a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force of 50 states to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing foreign robocalls into the U.S. Gateway providers that bring robocalls into the U.S. have a responsibility to ensure the call traffic is legal, but these providers are not doing enough to stop illegal robocalls.

Former Opioid Maker Allergan Agrees to Up To $2.37 Billion Settlement

July 29, 2022

Vermont is set to receive another substantial settlement in its ongoing work to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid crises. For the second time this week, a drug manufacturer, Abbvie, disclosed a proposed settlement to its investors in its earnings report released today. The proposed settlement will require Allergan, acquired by Abbvie in 2020, to pay up to $2.37 billion to participating states and local governments.

Opioid Maker Teva Agrees to Up To $4.25 Billion Settlement

July 27, 2022

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has reached an agreement in principle on key financial terms with opioid maker Teva, which would provide up to $4.25 billion to participating states and local governments. While critical details of the settlement remain the subject of ongoing negotiations, Teva disclosed the key financial terms in its earnings announcement yesterday.

Resource: Know Your Reproductive Rights

June 30, 2022

The following information is intended to answer questions about your legal rights in Vermont. You should talk to a health care provider about questions regarding your reproductive health, including whether and when you can safely terminate your pregnancy.

Exercise caution when speaking with a new health care provider or searching online for health information. Do not share your personal health information except with a trusted provider.

Vermont Joins National Settlement with Carnival Cruise Over 2019 Data Breach

June 28, 2022

Carnival Required to Change Its Security and Breach Practices

The Attorney General’s Office announced a multistate settlement with Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line stemming from a 2019 data breach that involved the personal information of approximately 180,000 Carnival employees and customers nationwide. As part of the settlement, Carnival must strengthen its email security and breach response practices. The company must also pay the states a total of $1.25 million, of which Vermont will receive $10,000.

Vermont Receives $61,000 Settlement with Mallinckrodt for Underpayment of Medicaid Drug Rebates

June 21, 2022

The Attorney General’s Office announced that Vermont joined with 49 other states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the federal government to settle allegations of fraud against Mallinckrodt ARD, LLC (formerly known as Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), which sells and markets pharmaceutical products throughout the nation. The total value of the multistate settlement is more than $233 million, to be paid over a period of seven years. Of the total settlement, Vermont received $61,595.05.

Attorney General’s Office Brings Landlord Restoration Program to St. Johnsbury

June 21, 2022

The Attorney General’s Office is holding a community forum for landlords on Vermont’s Lead Paint Law on Wednesday, June 29, at 4 p.m. in St. Johnsbury. Vermont law requires owners of residential rental properties built before 1978 to file lead safety compliance statements with the Vermont Department of Health every year. To help landlords understand how to ensure their properties are inspected and filings are properly completed, the Attorney General’s Office has initiated a public education and outreach campaign to promote safe housing and help landlords with compliance.

Statement from Attorney General Donovan on Decision to Step Down

June 10, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan today announced that he is stepping down from the office of Attorney General effective Monday, June 20, 2022, at 5 p.m. in order to accept the position of Director of Public Policy and U.S. State Strategies for the company Roblox. Donovan will be based in Vermont.

Attorney General Donovan issued the following statement regarding his decision:

Scam Alert: Beware of “Couriers” Collecting Cash in Family Emergency Scam

June 2, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan is warning Vermonters about a new variation of the family emergency scam in which scammers are demanding that cash be handed over in person to a “courier.” By presenting a fake emergency in which their loved one needs help getting out of trouble, scammers pressure panicked family members, including grandparents, into acting before they can realize it’s a scam. Until recently, scammers took a hands-off approach in collecting money, demanding gift cards, wire transfers, or virtual payments.

Pfizer To Refund Vermonters Deceived by Company’s Drug Copayment Coupon Program

May 24, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced a settlement with Pfizer Inc. following an investigation into the company’s business and advertising practices for its copayment coupon program. As part of the program, consumers were told that they would “pay no more than” certain amounts out-of-pocket for specific drugs – but ended up spending far more at the pharmacy. As part of the settlement, qualified Vermont consumers will automatically receive restitution for the amounts they overpaid.

Newark Mother and Son Charged with Medicaid Fraud

May 23, 2022

The Attorney General’s Office announced that the Caledonia Criminal Division found probable cause for felony Medicaid Fraud charges committed by Debra Stewart, 62, of Newark, Vermont, and her son, Andrew Lavelle, 31. Ms. Stewart was arraigned today on two counts of Medicaid Fraud, while the court issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Lavelle. The charges brought against both Ms. Stewart and Mr. Lavelle are the result of an investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit.

AG Donovan Joins Coalition in Defending Affordable Drug Prices

May 18, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general earlier this week in filing two amicus briefs defending efforts to ensure that community health centers, clinics, and institutions serving low-income and underserved patient populations have access to discounted prescription drugs.

Rutland Man Charged with Financially Exploiting Five Vulnerable Adults

May 17, 2022

The Attorney General’s Office announced that Mark Lacomb, 39, of Rutland, Vermont, was arraigned on May 16, 2022, on six felony charges of Financial Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult and one felony charge of Uttering a Forged or Counterfeit Instrument. The charges brought against Mr. Lacomb are the result of an investigation conducted by the office’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit.

Charity Clark Steps Down as Chief of Staff of Attorney General’s Office

May 9, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan today announced that Charity Clark, Chief of Staff, has stepped down from her post to explore new opportunities. Clark was hired as an Assistant Attorney General by former Attorney General Bill Sorrell in 2014. She has served as Chief of Staff under Attorney General Donovan since 2018.

AG Donovan Secures $290,000 for Vermonters Deceived by TurboTax

May 4, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan today announced a settlement with TurboTax, Intuit Inc. (Intuit), for deceiving Vermont consumers into paying for tax services that should have been free. As a result of a multistate agreement, Intuit will pay $141 million in restitution to millions of consumers across the nation who were unfairly charged. In addition, Intuit must suspend TurboTax’s “free, free, free” ad campaign that lured customers with promises of free tax preparation services, only to deceive them into paying for services.

Jury Finds Brookfield Man Guilty of Aggravated Assault & False Information to Police Officer

April 29, 2022

An Orange County jury has found William Pine, 51, of Brookfield, Vermont, guilty of two counts of Aggravated Assault and one count of False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer. The jury’s verdict, issued yesterday, found Mr. Pine guilty of attempting to cause serious bodily injury to two individuals on October 7, 2019, by using a gun to shoot into their car while they were inside at the intersection of Stone Road and Route 64 in Williamstown. The jury also found Mr.

Court Issues Judgment Against Rutland Landlord for Violations of Lead Law

April 26, 2022

Rutland Superior Court issued a judgment last week in a lawsuit brought by the Attorney General’s Office against Rutland rental property owner John Ruggiero and his companies for failing to comply with Vermont’s lead in rental housing laws and consumer protection laws. The Attorney General’s Office sued Mr. Ruggiero earlier this month after the Vermont Department of Health received complaints of two children residing in Mr. Ruggiero’s properties with elevated blood lead levels. The Consent Judgment orders Mr.

Attorney General Donovan Announces Conclusion of Second Annual Earth Day Essay Challenge

April 22, 2022

In celebration of Earth Day, Attorney General T.J. Donovan today announced the conclusion of the second annual Earth Day Essay Challenge for Vermont’s 5th and 6th graders. The now annual event began in 2021 with Attorney General Donovan inviting students to submit essays on the environment and Earth Day. This year’s essay challenge began in February and ran through April 8. In response, the Attorney General’s Office received 190 essays from students all over Vermont, more than three times the response the first event generated last spring.

Court Issues Judgment in Lawsuit Against Telemarketer Who Harassed Legislators

March 31, 2022

Washington Superior Court has issued a judgment in the civil lawsuit brought by Attorney General T.J. Donovan against Missouri-based Karabell Industries and its owner, Eli Karabell, for making repeated illegal telemarketing calls and harassing state legislators to pay exorbitant sums of money. The Consent Judgment, issued yesterday, resolves the Attorney General’s lawsuit by requiring the Defendants to cease all business and telemarketing activity in Vermont and refrain from contacting anyone in Vermont about any marketing, sales, offers, or otherwise.

AG Donovan Sues Telemarketer, Karabell Industries, Who Harassed Legislators

March 25, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan today filed a civil lawsuit against Missouri-based company, Karabell Industries, and its owner, Eli Karabell, for making repeated illegal telemarketing calls and harassing state legislators to pay him exorbitant sums of money. The lawsuit was filed in Washington Superior Court after numerous state legislators complained of receiving late-night phone calls from the Defendants who claimed to offer “government consulting services.” The Defendants then emailed state legislators proposing contracts and demanding payments of $18,500 per hour or even $48 billion.

AG Donovan Sues Illegal Robocall Carrier TCA VOIP

March 18, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan today filed a federal lawsuit against a California-based company, Telecom Carrier Access doing business as TCA VOIP, and its owner, Dominic Bohnett, for knowingly bringing thousands of robocalls into Vermont. The Attorney General’s Office began its investigation after receiving reports of a robocall displaying an 802-area code, impersonating the Social Security Administration. A traceback investigation, conducted with assistance from the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, revealed TCA VOIP to be the source of the call.

Expungement Clinic on April 8 to Serve Bennington County

March 17, 2022

Attorney General T.J. Donovan along with Bennington County State’s Attorney Erica Marthage will host a free expungement clinic on Friday, April 8, 2022, with appointments available from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Expungements wipe from your record specific convictions and dismissed charges after a certain period of time has passed. Under Vermont law, many misdemeanors, 14 different felony offenses, and all dismissed charges can be expunged. The free clinic will focus on expunging criminal charges and convictions from Bennington County and will be open to the public by appointment.

AG Donovan Announces National Settlement in Principle with Purdue Pharma and Sacklers of Up To $6 Billion

March 3, 2022

Court Approval Required

Attorney General T.J. Donovan today announced a national settlement in principle with Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, for their role in the opioid crisis, that will increase the amounts of funds paid by the Sacklers from $4.325 billion under the original bankruptcy plan to at least $5.5 billion. The settlement is subject to court approval.

Two Men Arrested for Possession of Child Sex Abuse Materials

February 14, 2022

Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

The Attorney General’s Office today announced that two men— Quang Le, 58, of South Burlington and Steven J. Renaud, 52, of Hyde Park—were arraigned in Vermont Superior Court last week for separate incidents of possession of child sexual abuse materials.

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