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AG Reyes Congratulates AAGs on Nominations as Finalists for 3rd District Juvenile Court

SALT LAKE CITY April 20, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement congratulating Utah Attorney General Division Director Susan Eisenman and Section Director Annette Jan for their nomination by the Third Judicial District Nominating Commission as two of the five finalists from whom the Governor will select the next juvenile court judge in the third district:

“It is a testament to the extremely high caliber of attorneys in the Utah Office of Attorney General that both Susan Eisenman and Annette Jan have been selected as finalists among so many qualified applicants. Those of us who have the privilege of working with Susan and Annette on a daily basis, both in and out of our office, are not surprised in the least by their selection,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “I commend the nomination commission for advancing both their names to the Governor.  

“From the early days of her career as an attorney guardian ad litem, representing children in child abuse and neglect cases to her more than 20 years with the office and in leadership positions, Susan Eisenman has demonstrated an innate ability to assimilate complex issues, advocate for her clients and lead her fellow attorneys in managing heavy caseloads and sensitive issues our office often addresses. Similarly, Annette Jan is a respected leader, experienced and highly skilled attorney who goes above and beyond to help her coworkers, clients, and the office. Despite the serious and challenging cases she handles, she is known by her coworkers to always lead with grace and good humor. Both are excellent attorneys, hardworking public servants, and incredible assets to Utah.”


AAG Susan Eisenman is Division Director of the State Agency Counsel Division.

Susan Eisenman has spent the last twenty years working as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Utah, representing various agencies within the State, and currently, serves as Division Director of the State Agency Counsel Division and as counsel to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  As an Assistant Attorney General for the Utah Department of Human Services, Susan has had the opportunity to look at social issues from legal, administrative, and policy perspectives. Susan participated in the successful defense of a class action lawsuit against the Division of Services for People with Disabilities (M.A.C. v. Betit) and the successful resolution of a thirteen-year-long class action lawsuit against the Division of Child and Family Services (David C. v. Leavitt). Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Susan was an attorney guardian ad litem, representing children in child abuse and neglect cases, and, before that, provided parental defense for persons accused of child abuse and neglect.

AAG Jan Annette is Section Chief of the Child Protection where she works with the Children’s Justice Centers. 

Annette Jan has served as the Section Chief of the Child Protection division for over five years. She works with the Children’s Justice Centers and attends the Children’s Justice Center multi-discipline staffing for Salt Lake City each week. In 2012, the Children’s Justice Center of Salt Lake County selected Annette to receive the “Professional of the Year” award for her outstanding services to child victims of crime served at the Children’s Justice Center. As the leader in her section, she has a busy schedule filled with administrative duties, working with DCFS, and drafting Protective Supervision Services petitions for each attorney. Prior to becoming an attorney, Janette worked for the Davis County Attorney’s Office as a victim advocate and for DCFS as a social service worker holding multiple positions including intake worker, child protective services investigator, on-going worker, and foster care worker. She also specialized in serious physical and sexual abuse cases as a CPS investigator.   


AG Reyes’ Statement on Child Abuse Prevention/Sexual Assault Awareness Month

SALT LAKE CITY April 17, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement on Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, including a highlight of the Children’s Justice Centers and the important multidisciplinary work they do to help children affected by abuse recover:

“April is both National Prevent Child Abuse Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Both speak to issues important to ensuring our state’s many communities are safe for all.  The Utah Attorney General’s Office (AGO) works tirelessly to stop sexual assault and child abuse and bring perpetrators to justice.  

“The Utah AGO is proud to support and work alongside community partners to break the cycle of abuse and prevent sexual assaults from taking place in domestic situations as well as work and campus environments. From our own Attorney General-sponsored One With Courage initiative to numerous efforts from NGOs, corporate and non-profit partners, we can make a difference by continuing to educate and raise awareness of the horror of all types of abuse while doing everything to lift victims and survivors to a safe place. 

“In addition, the Utah AGO has prioritized the protection of children from all forms of abuse. Administered under the AGO, the Children’s Justice Centers (CJCs) are child-focused, facility-based, safe environments in which representatives from law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical services, and victim advocacy work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions about investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse cases.  

“In an average year, Utah’s CJCs conduct 4,500 interviews, handle 5,500 cases, and serve as many as 15,000 people. They are an incredible asset to our communities and to our state. With over 25 years of experience, the CJCs’ multidisciplinary approach to supporting child victims impacted by crime and abuse helps children recover from the trauma of abuse.  

“The Utah CJC Program includes 20 locations serving communities across the state. The result is a more complete understanding of case issues and the most effective child and family focused system response possible.

“One of the most effective ways we can prevent child abuse is to ensure parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to care for their children. Research shows families are strengthened when there is nurturing and attachment, knowledge about parenting and child and youth development, parental resilience, social connections, and concrete supports for parents.  As we strengthen families, we strengthen our communities, and we protect children from abuse and sexual assault.” 

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Statewide Crisis Line, Suicide Prevention Efforts Moving Forward

Commission will work towards a single, statewide mental health crisis line

SALT LAKE CITY April 11, 2017 – With Attorney General Sean Reyes, Utah legislators, and mental health professionals, and supporters looking on, Governor Gary Herbert ceremonially signed SB 37, as well as two amendments to suicide prevention statutes, moving the state one step closer to a statewide crisis line. Sponsored by Utah State Senator Daniel Thatcher and Representative Steve Eliason, along with co-sponsors Representative Carol Spackman Moss and Senator Curt Bramble, the new law creates a commission to consolidate local mental health crisis lines. By integrating existing efforts into a single crisis line, the commission is tasked to create a single statewide line connecting individuals in a mental health crisis with a mental or behavioral health professional easier.

“Today, we move towards a statewide solution for all citizens. Over the past two years we have been fortunate to work with a full team of state leaders and agencies to launch the SafeUT Crisis & Safety smartphone app for Utah students,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “This service has offered direct access to the world-renowned mental health crisis responders at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI). Since its launch, thousands of Utah students have reached out to UNI for confidential and anonymous two-way communication with crisis counselors which has resulted in saved lives and healthier youth. State legislators Sen. Daniel Thatcher and Rep. Steve Eliason, sponsors of the Student Safety and Crisis Line Commission, have also led the efforts for a statewide Mental Health Crisis Line Commission. Today, as Governor Herbert signs their legislation, Utah is positioned to continue to lead the nation in this critically important response to those in mental health crisis.”

“The end goal of this legislation is simply that a plea for help will never go unanswered,” said Utah Representative Steve Eliason.

“I have never known a world without 911,” said Senator Daniel Thatcher.  “In fact, it is difficult to even imagine not knowing where to turn for physical crisis services. Yet, almost 50 years later, that is exactly where we are with Mental Health. We now know that a behavioral or mental health crisis can be just as dangerous, and requires a very different type of response.  Utah’s Mental Health Crisis Line Commission is the answer we have been looking for.”

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Utah Federal, State, and Local Government Officials Join Forces to Educate Investors on How to Avoid Fraud

ACCESS STOP UTAH FRAUD HERE

Public Seminars to be Held in Salt Lake City and Utah County

SALT LAKE CITY  April 5, 2017 – In a new, collaborative effort, Utah federal, state and local government officials established the Financial Fraud Institute and will hold two separate multi-agency seminars designed to educate Utah investors and consumers on how to recognize and avoid financial and consumer fraud, announced U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Regional Director Richard R. Best and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John W. Huber.  The free seminars are open to the public and will be held in Salt Lake City on April 26 and in Utah County on May 10.  Follow us on Twitter at #StopFraudUtah.

Officials from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Utah Attorney General’s Office, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Utah Division of Securities, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Utah Division of Consumer Protection, FBI, IRS and Salt Lake/Utah County Attorneys offices will participate in the seminars. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes will be the keynote speaker at the April seminar and Chief Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah will be the keynote speaker at the May seminar. These are the first in a series of seminars to be held by representatives of the Financial Fraud Institute.

The seminars will provide information on:  key questions to ask before making investment decisions; where to find free and unbiased information; how to spot financial scams; and how to report suspected fraud. 


WHO:      National and local experts from federal and state law enforcement and financial regulatory agencies

WHAT:    Financial Fraud Institute Seminars to educate investors and consumers on how to recognize and avoid fraud.

Salt Lake City

WHEN:                      April 26 in Salt Lake City

                                    5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. See full agenda

WHERE:                   University of Utah

S.J. Quinney College of Law Auditorium

                                    383 S. University St.

                                    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

                                    Free parking at the University of Utah Stadium

Utah County

WHEN:                      May 10 in Utah County

                                    5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. See full agenda

WHERE:                   Utah Valley University

                                    Classroom Building Rooms 101B and 101C

                                    800 W. University Parkway

                                    Orem, UT 84058

Those interested in attending the seminars must register at: Salt Lake City and Utah County, or call 801-579-6191. For more information, visit www.utfraud.com.

The seminars are open to the press.  Press interested in attending the events should contact Melodie Rydalch of the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office on 801-243-6475 or melodie.rydalch@usdoj.gov.

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Utah County FFI flyer


AG Sean Reyes Statement on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

SALT LAKE CITY April 5, 2017 – Today, Attorney General Sean Reyes released the below statement on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“Sadly, there are individuals and communities in our state impacted every day by the devastating effects of crime. Protecting Utahns from criminal conduct in all its many forms has always been a top priority for the Utah Attorney General’s Office. We are equally committed to stopping crime whether it be child abuse, white-collar crime, identity theft, human trafficking, Internet predation or more.

“A significant but often unheralded part of our crime fighting effort is assuring that victims know their rights and what services are available to them. As their rights are promoted and protected, victims are empowered to recover. In doing so, they can re-take control of their lives and their future, promoting healing and strength.  Survivors who are provided support and understanding will often feel safe enough to talk about their victimization. They are more also likely to seek needed services, and participate in the criminal justice process.

“The AG Office multidisciplinary response model, involving collaboration among victim service professionals, prosecutors and law enforcement, medical and mental health providers, and community organizations is essential to reach and serve all victims—including high-risk populations and minorities. Every year, the AG Office is proud to work with, protect, educate and support victims across our state.

“This week, as we recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we renew our commitment to a victim service and criminal justice response model that assists all victims of crime. We express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to those community members, victim service providers, and criminal justice professionals who work to improve our statewide response to all victims of crime so that they may find relevant assistance, support, justice, healing and peace.”

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AG Sean Reyes’ International Women’s Day Statement

 SALT LAKE CITY March 8, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement for International Women’s Day:  

“We each owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the women in our lives for their influence in shaping who we are. And yet, we have much to do to properly empower women and girls to achieve their ambitions, gain access to the halls of power, to build businesses and families, and to have an equal voice regarding issues that impact our nation, state, and communities.

“From the beginning of my term as Attorney General, our efforts to attract the best and brightest have resulted in hiring and promoting some of the most skilled attorneys and leaders I know, including Chief Civil Deputy Bridget Romano, Chief of Staff Missy Larsen, Director of Finance and Administration Kim Schmeling, and Executive Assistant Cecilia Lesmes, as well as numerous other leaders and professionals throughout the Office.  Utah is daily improved because of the many capable women in our office.  

“Personally, I have deep gratitude for my tutu wahine and abuela (grandmothers). Similarly, I was blessed with a mother, whose early mornings and late nights were spent teaching our family enduring values of hard work, honor and a commitment to the underserved, while she devoted her days to living those principles in her career as an educator. In many ways, it is because of her that I married a brilliant woman, a friend and equal, whose qualities of strength and conviction challenge me daily to keep up with her. I look forward to the day when my daughter, herself a brilliant, talented, and beautiful individual, has the same opportunities as my sons.”

 

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AG Sean Reyes’ National Consumer Protection Week Statement

SALT LAKE CITY  March 8, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement for National Consumer Protection Week:  

“We want all Utahns to be protected from frauds, scams, and schemes. In the AG’s Office, we are fortunate to work with Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection and the Department of Public Safety, with our federal partners at the SEC, FBI, and US Attorneys Office and our local law enforcement partners at county and city agencies across the state to thwart white collar criminals.  Consumers should regularly review the Utah Division of Consumer Protection website that provides tips and advisories regarding the many scams that regularly impact Utahns.

“As Attorney General, fighting fraud has always been a critical priority for my office. I encourage consumers to stay informed and protect themselves by checking before you invest or send money to a stranger. In my experience, the best deterrent to fraud and scams is an educated and alert consumer.  Before investing in any opportunity—whether it comes over the internet, from a trusted friend or family member, or by a door-to-door salesman—please take the time to check with either the White Collar Crime Offender Registry, a tool unique to Utah that allows consumers to verify before they invest, or the Division of Consumer Protection. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

For further information, please visit the White Collar Crime Offender Registry online or the Division of Consumer Protection website.

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AG Reyes’ Statement on the Verdict in the John Swallow Case

SALT LAKE CITY March 2, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement regarding the verdict in the trial of former Utah Attorney General John Swallow:

“I reaffirm my belief in the integrity of our legal system and the importance of constitutional safeguards such as due process and the right to a jury that protect us all as Americans. I have great respect for Judge Hruby-Mills and her careful and judicious management of this matter. I also greatly appreciate the service of the jury and respect its verdict.

“Regardless of the outcome of any given case, we in the Office of the Utah Attorney General support our criminal justice system and its role in protecting citizens and preserving liberties.  We thank all those who serve the public in the criminal justice process from investigators, prosecutors, public defenders, victim advocates, jurors, and corrections personnel to judicial and courtroom staff.

“Regardless of how you feel about the outcome of this case, we should be appreciative of a legal system in America that is not perfect but is among the best in the world. Our belief in and deference to the Rule of Law is the bedrock of that system.”

 

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AGO Executes Search Warrants in Major Statewide Gambling-Device Enterprise

SALT LAKE CITY March 2, 2017 – The Utah Attorney General’s Office (AGO) announced today that AGO investigators, in a joint operation with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, executed warrants to seize evidence of an alleged statewide enterprise related to illegal gambling machines. The operation identified over an estimated 500 machines or more at over 130 locations across the state.  Tips about illegal gambling devices were reported by citizens to legislators, Utah Senator Curt Bramble, Utah Representative Justin Fawson, and Utah Representative Norm Thurston, as well as from other sources. The investigation is ongoing.

“The Attorney General’s Office has focused its operation today on a large number of gambling devices that we allege are illegal under Utah statute,” said Utah Attorney General’s Office Investigations Chief Leo Lucey. “Because these devices are out in the open and are available to anyone, they present an especially dangerous threat to youth.”

“I appreciate the Attorney General’s office and the work they’ve done to address concerns that local law enforcement agencies brought to the attention of Representative Thurston and myself,” said Rep. Justin Fawson, District 7. “This was a coordinated effort between local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s office that resulted in bringing down an enterprise that was attempting to skirt the Utah gambling laws.”

“A question was raised whether coin pushers in local convenience stores were legal,” said Rep. Norm Thurston, District 64. “After learning the about the problems these machines create, it was made clear that statewide approach would be necessary to address this issue. Rep. Fawson and I appreciate the cooperation, hard work and response of the Attorney General’s office, investigators and agencies across the state to help resolve this issue.”

Utah law requires prosecutors and law enforcement to prosecute illegal gambling in Utah where ever it may be found. The Utah AGO takes this legislative mandate seriously and appreciates all of the various law enforcement agencies who have collaborated in this case. 

The following link contains clips that the media may use for purposes of their stories, if helpful. Click here for video. Click here for photography.

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AG Reyes Joins with 39 Other State Attorneys General as Plaintiff in Federal Generic Drug Antitrust Lawsuit

States file amended complaint in lawsuit against six generic drug companies, now alleging new violations of state antitrust and consumer protection laws

SALT LAKE CITY March 2, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes announced today that Utah has joined a federal antitrust lawsuit alleging that six generic drug-makers entered into illegal conspiracies in order to unreasonably restrain trade, artificially inflate and manipulate prices and reduce competition in the United States for two generic drugs.

An amended complaint filed in with the federal court increases from 20 to 40 the number of plaintiff states in the lawsuit, which was initially filed in December 2016. The amended complaint also adds claims of alleged violations of state antitrust laws – in addition to the alleged violations of federal antitrust laws – in each of the 40 states, as well as state consumer protection laws in most of the states, against the defendant generic companies Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc., Citron Pharma, LLC, Mayne Pharma (USA), Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

Connecticut is leading the multistate group of plaintiff states, which now also includes Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

“Along with 39 other states, we have laid out a strong and compelling case. In our amended complaint, we allege that these drug companies engaged in anti-competitive behavior, driving drug prices artificially high for certain generic drugs to the serious detriment of consumers,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “With the filing of this amended complaint, my office hopes to send a message of zero tolerance for trade practices we believe harm Americans and particularly those that hurt residents of Utah.      

“I appreciate the hard work of my Anti-Trust team, including Section Director Ronald Ockey, former Division Director David Sonnenreich, Assistant Attorney General Eddie Vasquez, and their stellar paralegal, Brian Blake, who have worked diligently with Connecticut and the other plaintiff states to bring this case forward.  The Utah AG’s office is dedicated to protecting consumers and companies from unlawful business practices such as those alleged in this case.”

In July 2014, the state of Connecticut initiated an investigation of the reasons behind suspicious price increases of certain generic pharmaceuticals. The investigation, which is still ongoing as to a number of additional generic drugs, generic drug companies, and key executives, uncovered evidence of a well-coordinated and long-running conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for doxycycline hyclate delayed release, an antibiotic, and glyburide, an oral diabetes medication.

The complaint further alleges that the defendants routinely coordinated their schemes through direct interaction with their competitors at industry trade shows, customer conferences, and other events, as well as through direct email, phone and text message communications. The alleged anticompetitive conduct – including efforts to fix and maintain prices, allocate markets and otherwise thwart competition – caused significant, harmful and continuing effects in the country’s healthcare system, the states allege.

The lawsuit was filed under seal in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Portions of the complaint are redacted in order to avoid compromising the ongoing investigation.

See below to view a copy of the redacted amended complaint. 

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