Monday, June 24, 2013

AG’s Office sets new consumer protection record

TOPEKA, Kan. --- The Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division recovered more money for Kansans last year than ever before in state history, Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.

Schmidt’s office recovered more than $49 million in consumer restitution, fees and penalties during 2012, shattering the previous one-year record of $17.3 million.

“We have made consumer protection one of the top priorities for our office,” Schmidt said. “We have slowly built capacity and strengthened our enforcement work against scam artists and others who illegally get Kansas consumers’ money. We have assembled a dedicated team of consumer specialists who are committed to helping Kansans. That focus is paying off for Kansas.”

The Consumer Protection Division is led by Deputy Attorney General Jim Welch. Its staff of investigators and litigators also includes former U.S. Attorney for Kansas Jackie Williams.

AG Schmidt is a former assistant attorney general for consumer protection, a position he held during the administration of former Attorney General Carla Stovall. He currently serves as the national co-chair of the Consumer Protection Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General.

Schmidt said he plans to continue strengthening his office’s consumer protection work on behalf of Kansans.

He said that although he is pleased with the large financial recoveries last year, the key measure of success is whether the Consumer Protection Division is providing help and assistance to Kansans who have lost money to scams, ripoffs and illegal business practices.

Schmidt released the 2012 information today by filing the annual Consumer Protection Report with the Kansas Legislature. That report is available online at