Miller’s office wins restitution, other relief in consumer protection cases
DES MOINES – Over the last 10 years, Iowans have benefited from at least $178.67 million in restitution and other relief, thanks to settlements, judgments, and other actions taken by Attorney General Tom Miller’s office.
The total identified between 2012 and April 18, 2022, includes:
$169.69 million in consumer restitution from multistate settlements, consent decrees and other judgments, and assurances of voluntary compliance.
at least $8.97 million in savings for consumers obtained through complaint mediation. This savings consists primarily of debt forgiveness, contractual releases, and other money that Consumer Protection Division staffers saved on a consumer’s behalf.
These totals do not include 60 cases in which large sums of consumer restitution were recovered but were not tracked by the AG’s office. In many instances this relief came in the ability for consumers to request and receive refunds and cancellations directly from a company or, in the instance of federal and multistate co-actions, another entity managed the relief.
“As these settlements show, our office puts the highest priority on securing consumer restitution over other remedies,” AG Miller said. “I have dedicated my nearly 40 years as attorney general to protecting consumers.”
Miller’s Consumer Protection Division investigates complaints from consumers over unfair and deceptive acts and practices and other violations of the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act. It also works with AG staff in other states to investigate and pursue lawsuits against companies and nonprofits that harm consumers.
The amount was determined after ranking members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter April 14, seeking information from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office and other AG offices. The committee members sought information on the use of contingency-based outside counsel and, among other questions, the amount of restitution paid to consumers since 2012. Miller’s response included an annual breakdown of all consumer protection cases with the amount of restitution paid.
Over the last 10 years, the AG's office has not hired outside counsel on a contingency basis to pursue consumer protection cases. Any use of outside counsel is approved by the state’s Executive Council, which consists of the governor, state auditor, treasurer, and secretaries of state and agriculture.
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