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Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced today he has joined 39 other attorneys general sending comments calling on the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to come up with solutions to the increasing problem of mobile “cramming.” That's the placement of unauthorized third-party charges on mobile phone bills. 

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office continues to receive complaints from consumers about charges, usually around $9.95, that appear on their phone bills without their authorization. The charges are usually for goods and services that the consumers neither requested nor used. Many consumers fail to detect that they have been crammed. When they do discover the charges on their bills, sometimes after several months, consumers are rarely able to obtain a full refund.

“Today’s cell phone bills include pages and pages of numbers, and it can be difficult to detect illegitimate charges,” Koster said. “While I urge consumers to check their phone bills carefully, we need better protections for consumers to prevent cramming from occurring, and to give them mechanisms for obtaining full refunds if they unfairly charged.”

Koster’s office announced a settlement yesterday with three third-party businesses that had placed charges for unwanted services on Missouri consumers’ phone bills. The businesses repaid consumers more than $296,000. The businesses are permanently barred from placing any future charges on consumers’ phone bills. 

Koster encourages consumers to check their phone bills monthly, and to contact his consumer hotline at 800-392-8222 if they detect unauthorized charges. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 11:26
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The Belleville News Democrat reports former Caseyville, IL  Police Chief JD Roth, who took his own life, was being investigated by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Department investigation into the police department that he headed for 11 years.

The paper reports police records show Roth sent a despondent text message to his girlfriend before he went into his backyard and shot himself in the head. A large sum of money" and multiple guns were discovered inside a safe at Roth's home.

His pre-paid funeral arrangements and will were on a plastic-covered table nearby.

Roth operated a home-based business called Special Order Firearms.

 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 09:25
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require close federal monitoring of elections.

The justices said in 5-4 ruling Tuesday that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that doesn't reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society.

The court did not strike down the advance approval requirement of the law that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965. But they said lawmakers must update the formula for determining which parts of the country must seek Washington's approval for election changes.

 

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - A former employee of the Missouri Department of Transportation is suing the agency, claiming age discrimination.

A lawsuit filed in Buchanan County says 64-year-old Elaine Justus worked at MoDOT's northwest district from 1997 until early 2013, largely in community relations.

The complaint says MoDOT developed a cost-cutting plan that included lists identifying employees by age and tenure. The lawsuit also says a northwest district manager created a similar list sorted by retirement eligibility and called it the "Buzzard List."

The St. Joseph News-Press reports the lawsuit says in 2011, a manager asked Justus her age. Justus says she was told a month later she wouldn't be reappointed. She says she was later demoted and was terminated in January.

MoDOT spokesman Bob Brendel says the department doesn't comment on pending litigation.

 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 08:48
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