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Hurricane Man Sentenced to Jail After Attempting to Meet with Minor for Sex

July 25, 2019

A man from Hurricane, Utah was sentenced to jail on one third-degree felony count of enticing a minor by internet or text after he arranged to meet with what he believed to be a 13-year-old boy for sex.

Ross Robert Woolsey, a 50-year-old man, was first arrested along with six other men during a four-day sting operation conducted by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and Washington County Attorney’s Office.

Woolsey will serve 180 days at the Purgatory Correction Facility. Additionally, he will pay a $1,500 fine and will be placed on 36 months of probation with Adult Probation and Parole where he will be subject to all class A sex-offender requirements and restrictions. Woolsey will participate in substance abuse evaluation and treatment, sex offender treatment, DNA testing, random searches of computers, phones, or other internet-able devices, and will be prohibited from visiting any areas that children congregate – such as schools, parks, and community pools. Additionally, he is prohibited from having contact with any children under the age of 18 without prior approval from Adult Probation and Parole.


News coverage of the 2018 November ICAC Operation:

St. George News: Police arrest 7 men accused of attempting to meet boys, girls for sex
The Spectrum: 7 men accused of trying to meet with minors for sex in Washington County
KUTV: 6 men arrested for attempting to meet minors for sex in Washington County
ABC4: 7 men arrested accused of trying to meet minors for sex


In Response to the Lawsuit Filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office

July 23, 2019

In response to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office today, titled the “U.S. vs. The Custodian of Record for the state of Utah”, the Attorney General’s Office responds as follows: 

“This case is about conduct that took place before AG Reyes or his current leadership team were in office.” 

“It involves allegations related to numerous state agencies. As part of its constitutional duties, the Utah AGO is representing those agencies in this matter.” 

“The Utah AGO has cooperated with the OIG investigation to the maximum extent allowable under legal and ethical rules and has been following strict orders of this court not to disclose anything publicly.” 

“In fact, the federal court overseeing this matter issued an order/gave explicit instructions that our office could not discuss in public/with the media the substantive issues in this case.”

“However, we do not believe it is a violation of the court’s order to reiterate/clarify that: (1) this administration had nothing to do with the alleged conduct, (2) the state agencies involved in this matter are represented by the Utah AGO and these agencies will provide defenses of their conduct at the appropriate time when instructed by the court, (3) the AGO has fully cooperated with OIG and handled this case with professionalism and excellence on behalf of the State of Utah.”


DATA BREACH: EQUIFAX SETTLES WITH UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2019
 

DATA BREACH: EQUIFAX SETTLES WITH UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL

50 Other States, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C. included in Historic Case

“While this is a historical settlement in terms of amount and conditions required, it is quite appropriate for the severity of the conduct.”—Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Attorney General announces a historic $600 million nationwide settlement with Equifax concerning the 2017 Equifax data breach affecting more than 147 million Americans, and more than 1.2 million Utahns. 50 state attorneys general and the attorneys general of Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. are included in the settlement.
 
“I’m pleased Equifax will take serious steps to protect and reimburse consumers, even if it comes only after one of the worst lapses of consumer data protection in our history,” said Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes. “I urge Utah consumers affected by the breach to take advantage of Equifax’s agreement to pay for credit monitoring, identity theft protection and other measures and reimbursements.”
 
“Just the fear and uncertainty alone from a breach victimizes those whose data is compromised,” AG Reyes said. “I’m hopeful this offers some measure of relief to Utahns whose lives have been disrupted or even more significantly damaged.”
 
The terms of the multistate attorney general settlement are as follows:

  • Equifax will offer affected consumers free credit monitoring services for 10 years;
  • Equifax will provide free Identity Theft Restoration services to all affected consumers;
  • Equifax will strengthen its data security practices to protect against another breach;
  • Equifax will take several steps to assist consumers:
    • with understanding their credit report;
    • with disputing inaccurate entries on their credit report, including credit report entries that are the result of identity theft;
    • who have become the victim of identity theft or who are concerned about becoming the victim of identity theft; and
    • including assisting active-duty military members and veterans and their families with credit report issues unique to military members.
  • Equifax will pay $300 million into a settlement fund for the benefit of affected consumers, with the possibility of paying up to an additional $125 million into the settlement fund, for a total of $425 million; and
  • Equifax will pay $175 million to the states, $1,422,915.91 of which will go to Utah. 

Details on the Consumer Settlement Fund
Affected consumers are eligible to request the following types of reimbursements from the settlement fund:

  • Reimbursement for time spent trying to avoid or recover from identity theft (up to 20 total hours at $25 per hour);
  • Reimbursement for money spent trying to avoid or recover from identity theft (such as costs for freezing your credit report, professional fees paid to address identity theft, postage, etc.);
  • Up to $125 to reimburse for credit monitoring services purchased if you choose not to accept the offered 10 free years of credit monitoring service offered as a part of the settlement.

The settlement is being handled by a settlement administrator who is maintaining a website (http://www.ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach) and a toll-free number (1-833-759-2982).  Eligible consumers can submit claims at the settlement website. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if I am covered by the settlement?
A: Once the class action court approves the settlement, Equifax will provide a lookup tool on the settlement website (http://www.ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach) that you can use to determine whether you are affected by the data breach. You will be required to input the last 6 digits of your Social Security Number that Equifax will use only to determine whether you are one of the affected consumers. 
 
Q: I am an eligible consumer who wants to make a claim from the settlement fund. How do I make a claim? 
A: You can make a claim through the settlement website (http://www.ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach) once the court approves the settlement. This is the simplest and quickest way to file a claim. However, you also can request a paper claim form via the settlement website or by calling (1-833-759-2982). The deadline to file all claims will be determined once the court approves the proposed settlement and will be posted on the settlement website as soon as that information becomes available, so please check the settlement website for updated information. When you file a claim, you will receive a claim number.  Please record your claim number and retain it for future reference.
 
Q: I am an eligible consumer who wants to make a claim from the settlement fund. What can I request in my claim?
A: You will be able to request after the court approves the settlement, and before the deadline to be announced by the court, free credit monitoring and reimbursement for money and time spent addressing the data breach. Specifically, you can:

  • Sign up for the free 10 years of credit monitoring that Equifax is offering. It consists of at least 4 years of three-bureau credit monitoring that monitors your credit report with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, followed by up to 6 years of single bureau credit monitoring of your Equifax credit report;
  • Request reimbursement for:
    • Time spent trying to avoid or recover from identity theft (up to 20 total hours at $25 per hour);
    • Money spent trying to avoid or recover from identity theft (such as money paid to freeze or unfreeze your credit report, money paid to a professional for identity theft services, postage, etc.; and
    • If you do not wish to utilize the offered free 10 years of credit monitoring, you can request reimbursement of up to $125 for what you spent to purchase alternative credit monitoring services.

Also, all affected consumers are eligible to use the free offered Identity Restoration services at any time during the extended claims period. The court will determine the deadline to file a claim during the extended claims period once it approves the proposed settlement. Affected consumers do not need to enroll in this service in order to be able to use it. 
 
Q: When is the deadline to file a claim against the settlement fund?
A: The deadline is not yet set, but the court will determine the deadline if it approves the proposed settlement. Please check the settlement website (http://www.ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach) for updates on the claims deadlines and other documents associated with the settlement. 
 
Q: I filed a claim against the settlement fund.  How can I find out about the status of the claim?
A: The settlement administrator will contact you when a decision is made about your claim. Also, you can check the status of your claim at http://www.ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach. Please be prepared to enter your claim number that the settlement administrator provided to you when you filed your claim. 
 
Q: I have questions about the Equifax settlement.  Where can I get information about the settlement?
A: You can go to http://www.ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach for information about the settlement and to view important documents associated with the settlement. Also, you can call (1-833-759-2982) to obtain information about the settlement. Utah consumers who have questions that were not answered by the website or toll-free number may contact the Utah Office of the Attorney General, Constituent Services, at 801-366-0260 or uag@agutah.gov.
 
Q: I am concerned about identity theft.  How can I place a freeze on my credit report?
A: Credit freezes are free of charge, and in order to place a freeze on your credit report, you must contact each of the major consumer reporting agencies directly and identify yourself to them. A credit freeze prevents companies from viewing your credit report if they are considering granting credit unless you prove to them that you are who you say you are. It can help protect you from identity thieves who are trying to open a credit account in your name. The consumer reporting agencies are not permitted to charge you any fee to place or lift the freeze. You should know that if you plan to apply for credit when you have a freeze in place, there may be a delay in processing your credit application while you request that the credit freeze be lifted. You can find instructions on how to place a credit freeze here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/09/free-credit-freezes-are-here.

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Endo Agrees to State Enforcement of Injunctive Relief After Attempting to Block Generic Drugs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2019
 
 

ENDO AGREES TO STATE ENFORCEMENT OF INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AFTER ATTEMPTING TO BLOCK GENERIC DRUGS

States create enforcement fund to stop future anticompetitive conduct.



SALT LAKE CITY – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes announced today that Utah and 17 other states reached an agreement with Endo International plc and Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., which will parallel the parties’ prior agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, prohibiting patent settlement agreements that illegally delay competition by generic drugs.

Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a for-profit Delaware corporation that markets and sells Lidoderm and other drugs throughout the United States. Endo International plc is the parent company to Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. with global headquarters in Ireland and U.S. headquarters in Pennsylvania. 

Endo is accused of illegal conduct due to its participation in an agreement to protect a monopoly on Lidoderm. Lidoderm is the brand-name for lidocaine patches, which is a transdermal patch widely prescribed for relief of pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia, a common complication of shingles.

The agreement focused on injunctive relief and preventing future conduct. The injunction prohibits Endo from paying or incentivizing a generic drug maker to delay entry into the drug market or from researching, developing, manufacturing, marketing or selling any drug product. The states will use settlement funds to enforce the injunctive terms and to stop other anticompetitive conduct within the pharmaceutical industry, which has been in the news, in the courts, and before Congress due to concerns over drug prices and repeated antitrust allegations.

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AG Reyes Statement on the Loss of Sergeant First Class Elliott J. Robbins

July 18, 2019

The American flag is flying at half-staff across the State of Utah to honor the life and service of Sergeant First Class Elliott Jerome Robbins. Sgt. Robbins died in service to our nation in Afghanistan on June 30, 2019 and is being laid to rest in the Ben Lomond Cemetery in North Ogden. Attorney General Sean D. Reyes issued the following statement:

“The AG’s Office joins fellow Utahns in mourning the loss of Sergeant First Class Robbins and honoring his ultimate sacrifice. A patriot to the end, he will be remembered for the many lives he saved as a Green Beret and decorated medic overseas on multiple deployments.

“My wife Saysha, who is from North Ogden, and I send our deepest condolences to his loved ones, his wife and his baby boy during this time of mourning and indescribable loss. May God bless his family and our nation he so valiantly served.”

Sgt. 1st Class Robbins’ funeral will take place at St. James Catholic Church and a burial with military honors will follow at Ben Lomond Cemetery. The services are open to the public.


In the News: AG Training Director Discusses Officer-Involved Shootings

July 17, 2019

On Monday, a Salt Lake City police officer was hit by friendly fire during a wellness check. Utah Attorney General’s Office Training Director Scott Carver, who trains potential police officer recruits using the VirTra simulator, sat down with KUTV yesterday to discuss officer-involved shootings.

According to Carver, a Utah police officer hurt by friendly fire is not common. “This was an extremely rare circumstance,” said Carver.

Although Carver isn’t involved with the case, he will follow it.

“We are always looking at the cases of officer-involved shootings and what took place there from a training perspective so that if there is a benefit that we can gain from that for our training processes, that’s what we want to do,” said Carver


Communications Director Saves Tracy Aviary Raven

July 16, 2019

About a month ago, a large black bird showed up outside the Capitol Hill executive offices of Utah’s Attorney General. It was strange to see this large bird—about the size of a cat—just perched on the window and apparently not afraid of our ogling and tapping on the window. And there were mixed reactions from all of us the other side of the glass. 

“Look how big (he) is!” (People always assume a stray animal is a male).

“What’s he doing here?” 

“Why doesn’t he fly away?”

“Is this good luck or bad luck?”

Some in the office even started calling the bird “Edgar” as in Edgar Allan Poe who wrote the poem “The Raven” in 1845, a work often noted for documenting a distraught lover’s descent into madness.

It turns out that OUR raven wasn’t ominous or mysterious. In fact, SHE is a female, friendly trained bird named Cash that was missing from the Tracy Aviary.  

For a few weeks, Cash managed to work her way into the lives of the people in our office who always wondered why she would just hop from the rail to the window and hang out, looking at the people on the other side of the glass. We snapped pictures, left croutons for her to eat, enjoyed her friendly presence. Cash entranced tourists who also noticed this unusual sight.

Initially, no one knew that Cash was hanging out at the Capitol after being chased away from the Aviary by hawks as her handlers were training her a month ago. I called Tracy Aviary because her appearance at the Capitol met all the criteria in the ‘Missing Raven’ notification online. On Saturday, her handlers came to the Capitol, and she flew to them before they even saw her. We’re all happy and grateful that she is back where she belongs, but we in the AG’s office must confess we are a little sad that our mysterious visitor won’t be perched outside our windows anymore. 

 But we can always visit her at the Aviary!

Below is a video taken by Chief of Staff Ric Cantrell:


North Logan man charged with raping a child after luring her to his apartment using Snapchat

July 12, 2019

Yesterday, a North Logan man was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl after he lured her into his apartment by pretending to be one of her friends on Snapchat.

While the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force isn’t directly associated with this specific case, Regional Supervisor Alan Connor emphasized that these incidents happen far too often. Additionally, he urges parents to be aware of their children’s interactions on the internet and for children and teens to practice internet safety.

“When we’re talking about kids, they’re easily manipulated. They want to be liked, they want to be popular. The confirmation of those feelings and those emotions are what predators jump on,” Connor said. “As the parents, we need to be informed. We need to go out there and look and see what our kids are doing. If we don’t understand it we have to educate ourselves.”

Report child pornography by contacting the ICAC Tip Line at 801.281.1211 or your local law enforcement agency.


Media coverage:

ABC4: North Logan man uses Snapchat to lure teen to apartment and rape her, documents state

Deseret News: Northern Utah man uses Snapchat to lure teen to his apartment, rape her, charges state

Fox13: Cache County man deceived teen girl on Snapchat before raping her, police say

Salt Lake Tribune: Logan man charged with luring a 13-year-old to his apartment and raping her

KUTV: Police: North Logan man raped minor, lured her by posing as girl on Snapchat


Health Insurer Premera Settles Suit for Failing to Protect Sensitive Data

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2019

Health Insurer Premera Settles Suit for Failing to Protect Sensitive Data

Premera Breach Affects Millions Nationwide; Including about 50,000 Utahns

OLYMPIA, WA — Premera Blue Cross, the largest health insurance company in the Northwest has settled a lawsuit over failing to fix known security problems that exposed personal information of more than 10.4 million consumers nationwide, including approximately 50,000 Utahns to a hacker.

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and 29 other attorneys general filed a settlement today that requires Premera Blue Cross to pay $10 million total to states, over its insufficient data security and failure to secure the consumer data, including protected health and personal information.

A nearly year-long investigation focused on Premera’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities that gave a hacker unrestricted access to the data for almost a year. Under the settlement, Premera will:

  • Pay a total of $10 million to states.  (Premera settled a class action lawsuit for $74 million earlier this year.)
  • The company is also required to implement specific data security controls intended to protect personal health information, annually review its security practices and provide data security reports to the attorneys general.
  • Premera’s $10 million payment to the states is in addition to any payment from the proposed class action settlement, which was filed in federal court in Oregon but not yet finalized by the court.

“This was clearly a violation of Federal and Utah privacy laws and is simply unacceptable,” said Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes.  “Even worse, but the company knew about the deficient data security for nearly a year and didn’t take necessary measures to fix it.  Consumers deserve much, much better.”

The complaint asserts that the company failed to meet its obligations under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Utah Protection of Personal Information Act (UPPIA) by not addressing known cybersecurity vulnerabilities that gave a hacker unrestricted access to protected health information for almost a year.

From May 5, 2014 until March 6, 2015, a hacker had unauthorized access to the Premera network containing sensitive personal information, including private health information, Social Security numbers, bank account information, names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, member identification numbers and email addresses.

The hacker took advantage of multiple known weaknesses in Premera’s data security. For years prior to the breach, cybersecurity experts and the company’s own auditors repeatedly warned Premera of its inadequate security program, yet the company accepted many of the risks without fixing its practices.

The complaint asserts that Premera misled consumers nationwide about its privacy practices in the aftermath of the data breach. After the breach became public, Premera’s call center agents told consumers there was “no reason to believe that any of your information was accessed or misused.” They also told consumers that “there were already significant security measures in place to protect your information,” even though multiple security experts and auditors warned the company of its security vulnerabilities prior to the breach.

Under HIPAA, Premera is required to implement administrative, physical and technical safeguards that reasonably and appropriately protect sensitive consumer information. Premera repeatedly failed to meet these standards, leaving millions of consumer’s sensitive data vulnerable to hackers for nearly a year.

Today’s settlement also requires Premera to:

  • Ensure its data security program protects personal health information as required by law
  • Regularly assess and update its security measures
  • Provide data security reports, completed by a third-party security expert approved by the multistate coalition, to the Washington State Attorney General’s Office
  • Hire a chief information security officer, a separate position from the chief information officer. The information security officer must be experienced in data security and HIPAA compliance and will be responsible for implementing, maintaining and monitoring the company’s security program.
  • Hold regular meetings between the chief information security officer and Premera’s executive management. The information security officer must meet with Premera’s CEO every two months and inform the CEO of any unauthorized intrusion into the Premera network within 48 hours of discovery.

Today’s multistate settlement against Premera involves Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

A copy of the settlement can be viewed here.

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Independence Day: Celebrating 243 Years of Freedom

July 4, 2019

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was finalized, setting forth a revolutionary precedent that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This notion that men and women receive rights directly from God rather than through despotic intermediaries promoted the idea of a government created by the people, for the people that has stood the tests of time and tribulation.

Today, as we celebrate our freedoms and liberties with fireworks, parades, festivities, family, and friends, the Utah Attorney General’s Office invites you to join us in remembering those who fought for our independence and self-government: our Founding Fathers and those in our militaries, and their families. Let us honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep our homes, families, and communities safe and free.

God bless the United States of America. God bless the great State of Utah, and each of you and your families. It is our privilege in the AG’s Office to protect and serve. Please be extra cautious and careful on the roads this holiday weekend.


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