Archive for August, 2008

Long Island Gas Station Owners Accused of Consumer Fraud

Filed August 29th, 2008 laurie

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office said a third of Long Island gas stations inspected, or about 43, and about one in five of city stations inspected, or about 30, violated state business practice and consumer fraud laws by using “deceptive practices” and “overcharging” for credit card purchases. And yesterday, he issued a “consumer alert” reminding […]

FDIC’s Problem List Has 117 Banks

Filed August 28th, 2008 laurie

The FDIC’s “problem list” grew to 117 institutions from 90 at the end of the first quarter, Consumer Affairs reports. That is largest number on the list since the middle of 2003. For consumers, these are unsettling numbers as banks have become one of the last refuges for cash, with the collapse of real estate […]

Cuomo confirms probe of Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments

Filed August 27th, 2008 joshua

New York’s State Attorney General confirmed earlier this week his office is investigating whether Goldman Sachs offered incentives to Fidelity Investments to sell auction-rate securities. Investors who bought into these auction-rate securities thought they were as good as cash until the credit crisis was finally realized. Many investors who bought these securities are now out […]

FTC Banning Prerecorded Sales Messages

Filed August 25th, 2008 laurie

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is banning phone calls of prerecorded sales messages unless consumers agree to receive the calls, the Associated Press reports. The FTC says by December all prerecorded calls must provide an opt-out selection to make it easy for consumers to stop getting those calls. Effective Sept. 1, 2009, sellers and telemarketers […]

Brokers blame banks over auction-rate securities scandal

Filed August 21st, 2008 joshua

Retail brokerages, about to face a litany of charges of securities fraud, are pointing the finger of blame at Wall St.’s big investment banks over the fallout from the auction-rate debt scandal. Brokers are being accused of selling securities to consumers that it knew would be impossible to sell in the future. New York Attorney […]

Auction-Rate Securities Buybacks May Not Help Individual Investors

Filed August 18th, 2008 laurie

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s effort to force buybacks by Wall Street banks and brokers of auction-rate securities may not help some individual investors, Bloomberg News reports. In the last two weeks, Cuomo reached agreements with Citigroup Inc., UBS AG, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wachovia Corp. to begin buying back […]

JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley to Buy Back Auction Rate Securities

Filed August 15th, 2008 laurie

On Thursday, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley were added to the list of banks settling with the New York Attorney General and other regulators as part of an investigation into the collapse of the auction-rate securities market, the Associated Press reports. The two banks will repurchase a combined $7 billion of the troubled […]

Wachovia Details Auction Rate Securities Probe

Filed August 13th, 2008 laurie

Wachovia is in settlement talks with the SEC and various state regulators over its handling of auction-rate securities. The bank boosted its legal reserves for auction-rate securities by $500 million as of the end of June to reflect estimated potential losses associated with a possible settlement, FOXBusiness News reports. The SEC and New York Attorney […]

Attorney General Hits Texas Debt Collection Firm for Harassing Consumers

Filed August 12th, 2008 Julie Ann Fidler

The Texas attorney general’s office has asked a court to stop Anderson, Crenshaw & Associates, L.L.C., a Dallas-based debt collection firm, from harassing debtors with deceptive letters and unlawful telephone calls, Consumer Affairs reports. Since 2006, the Office of the Attorney General of Texas has received more than 75 complaints alleging misconduct by the firm, […]

Citigroup Auction Rate Securities Fraud Settlement Reached

Filed August 8th, 2008 Julie Ann Fidler

Citigroup will be buying back over $7 billion in auction rate securities and paying fines adding up to $100 million as part of settlements with regulators federally and state-wide, after Citigroup allegedly marketed the investments as safe despite liquidity risks. The Associated Press reports that Citigroup will buy back the securities from tens of thousands […]