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The Star Tribune's journalists need your help blowing the whistle in Minnesota. Contact us here.
Minnesota may have a large number of residents registered on the National Do Not Call Registry, but that hasn’t stopped the illegal robocalls.
The Federal Trade Commission released its Do Not Call data book Wednesday and found Minnesota had the 8th highest registry enrollment in the country. The state also had 969 complaints per 100,000 residents, about average for the nation.
Last week, Whistleblower reported that the FTC had reached a settlement with the final defendants in a “Rachel from Cardholder Services” robocall scam. Some of you called Whistleblower, saying they were still receiving these calls, often many times a day, but from someone named “Lisa.”
Have you complained about unwanted calls to the government? I want to hear from you. Comment below or you can reach me at 612.673.4028 or email@example.com.
Two weeks after the governor demanded changes to the Minnesota Board of Nursing's "attitude and approach" to discipline, the board plans this week to discuss "policy issues" raised by the Star Tribune's coverage of the board's disciplinary actions.
Thursday is the board's first scheduled meeting since the stories began running on Oct. 6, which have reported that the board has allowed nurses to keep their licenses despite serious misconduct, including causing patient harm and sometimes death, stealing drugs from patients, practicing while impaired, and lying about their past misconduct.
The board faces demands from Gov. Mark Dayton that it get tougher on problem nurses. Last month, he called the board "asleep at the switch" and said it needs to change its culture regarding discipline.
The board plans to review its disciplinary process and whether it should meet more often to consider nursing discipline.
The Sikh Coalition is updating its mobile app that allows travelers to report complaints about the Transportation Security Administration from the airport after concerns were raised about the handling of the complaints, according to an article published Wednesday by USA Today.
The Coalition is updating its FlyRights app to forward each complaint to the traveler’s U.S. House member and both senators, in addition to the TSA, to ensure that the complaints are being fully investigated.
The Sikh Coalition created the app in April 2012, along with TSA, because of concerns that TSA officials were profiling travelers, particularly Sikhs who often wear turbans.
In addition to basic information, such as name and address, the app asks for the grounds for discrimination, the airport and if the passenger was required to go through extra screening.
The update will also keep a running total of complaints for each airport.
Two more people and four companies have agreed to settle charges in the “Rachel robocall” scheme, the Federal Trade Commission said last week.
The Rachel scam, which used other names as well, called people, often on the do-not call list, to offer lower interest rates on their credit cards.
The six defendants, including Emory Holley, aka Jack Holley and Lisa Miller from Arizona, agreed to pay a partially suspended $11.9 million judgment for charging illegal upfront fees during telemarketing calls in which they falsely claimed they could reduce the interest rate on consumers’ credit cards.
There were 10 total defendants in the Rachel scheme, and four other defendants had already agreed to settled their charges in June. Those four had allegedly opened merchant and bank accounts in their names for processing consumer payments obtained through the calls.
Previously, Whistleblower was on a search for Rachel. Click here for some of our reporting.
An Arizona company was fined $5.2 million for selling worthless services to victims of earlier scams that the company claimed would get their money back, the Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday.
The FTC fined Business Recovery Services LLC and its owner Brian Hessler, who sold “worthless do-it-yourself kits” for $499 to people who had lost money to work-at-home schemes, the FTC said.
“In effect, this scheme rubbed salt in the wound of people who had already been victimized, targeting them and defrauding them all over again,” Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.
The $5.2 million fine was stayed so long as Hessler pays $90,000.
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