W.Va. Attorney General announces $7.8 million settlement - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

W.Va. Attorney General announces $7.8 million settlement

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Officials confirm "inappropriate behavior " at Shady Spring football game

    Officials confirm "inappropriate behavior " at Shady Spring football game

    Officials confirm "inappropriate behavior " at Shady Spring football game

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:21:17 GMT
    Shady Spring High school's season opener versus Princeton High school had what students call a disturbance.Director of People Services, Jeff McClung, did confirm that some students were acting out."Shady Spring High School administration has notified the county office of inappropriate behavior at the game. I'm proud of the diligence they've had at the game enforcing the school policies," McClung Said.Students told me they witnessed over 10 of their fellow students sneaking alcohol into the ga...
    Shady Spring High school's season opener versus Princeton High school had what students call a disturbance.Director of People Services, Jeff McClung, did confirm that some students were acting out."Shady Spring High School administration has notified the county office of inappropriate behavior at the game. I'm proud of the diligence they've had at the game enforcing the school policies," McClung Said.Students told me they witnessed over 10 of their fellow students sneaking alcohol into the ga...
  • Mercer County man sentenced on child porn charges

    Mercer County man sentenced on child porn charges

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:03 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:03:45 GMT
    A child pornography case out of Mercer County lead to the sentencing of a Bluefield, WV man on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. David A. Punturi, 54, will serve nine years in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release, after being sentenced in front of Judge David A. Faber.
    A child pornography case out of Mercer County lead to the sentencing of a Bluefield, WV man on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. David A. Punturi, 54, will serve nine years in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release, after being sentenced in front of Judge David A. Faber.
  • Victim identified in fatal accident near Cyclone, WV

    Victim identified in fatal accident near Cyclone, WV

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:11:16 GMT
    According to officials in Wyoming County, the driver was thrown from the vehicle.
    According to officials in Wyoming County, the driver was thrown from the vehicle.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced through a press release Tuesday that four large banking companies will pay the state $1.95 million each, a total sum of $7.8 million total, to settle lawsuits alleging the companies' credit card protection programs violated West Virginia law.

"This office worked long and hard in the Discover case to protect West Virginia consumers," Morrissey said. "But for that case, we would have never reached a settlement in this matter. Over a number of years, thousands of West Virginians entered into credit card payment protection programs without knowing they had done so, were charged extra fees and then had trouble reaping the benefits. Our Office is committed to ensuring businesses, no matter how large or small, do not take advantage of our citizens or violate the laws."

The settlements were reached three months after the W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals ruled in the case State ex rel. Discover Financial Services, Inc. vs. Neibert that the Office of the Attorney General had the authority to use special assistant attorneys general in certain cases. The four financial institutions - Bank of America Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citibank/Citigroup Inc., and GE Money Bank - were parties in that case.
According to the complaint, the banks engaged in misleading and deceptive tactics to enroll customers in payment protection programs, which involved fees of typically 89 cents per $100 credit card balance, adding that bank representatives would ask new card holders whether they were interested in entering a program that would cover minimum monthly payments in the event of a major life change, such as loss of income, spouse or other event. If the cardholder even expressed "interest," he or she was automatically enrolled in the program without being given an ability to review the terms and conditions of the program, including the fee structure, what the program would offer and how benefits would be determined. The banks denied the allegations.
"Our Office will always be aggressive in fighting back against companies that engage in schemes to mislead consumers or knowingly omit facts that would help consumers make the best decisions with their finances," Morrisey stated.
Settlements were not reached with Discover Financial Services, HSBC Card Services or World Financial Network Bank. Claims against those institutions will continue.
Under the terms of the settlement and the Office's agreement with the Governor and the Legislature, the settlement monies will help ensure the Consumer Protection Division has three years of operating revenue; the remainder will be returned to the Legislature.