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Protecting the Economic Security of Rhode Islanders
Published on: Jan 14, 2014

A lifetime resident of the Ocean State and public servant for three decades, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin is not afraid to take on the big banks and scam artists who try take advantage of Rhode Islanders.

Peter has always been an aggressive advocate for consumers, because he understands the hardships that the economic downturn has caused for Rhode Islanders. For more than two decades—as a police officer, prosecutor, and elected official, as well as a husband and father—Peter has fought to make Rhode Island a safer, more livable place to raise a family. 

As a watchdog for Rhode Island consumers, Peter took on Wall Street, holding lenders accountable for foreclosure abuses and mortgage servicing practices. He announced Rhode Island’s participation in the landmark national mortgage settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage service providers, and the settlement brought in more than $150 million in benefits and relief to Rhode Island homeowners. A major settlement with Ocwen later brought an additional $10 million dollars in relief to homeowners and upheld Peter’s promise to continue his investigations into Wall Street banks that led the country into a financial crisis.

Peter has also been a leader on consumer issues, including the fight against mortgage modification scams, which take advantage of our most vulnerable residents—he’s even successfully shut down several fraudulent companies. He’s warned consumers of an ongoing medical alert scam, “mobile cramming,” and hosted free mortgage foreclosure prevention and loan modification scam awareness workshops. Peter also joined 29 other states in reaching a $29 million settlement with the Toyota Motor Corporation, of which RI will receive $510,000, regarding safety issues with unintended acceleration.

Since taking office, Peter has aggressively fought to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for illegal and deceptive marketing practices and made Big Pharma pay more than $20 million to the state’s coffers and Medicaid program and ordered reforms in marketing practices. He’s successfully won settlements with drug companies such as Ranbaxy and Amgen, Inc. for their distribution of adulterated drugs and for reporting inflated pricing data. These settlements brought in more than $340,000 in benefits and relief to Rhode Islanders.

Peter joined other state attorneys general in the fight against companies that utilize deceptive marketing practices, and together, they successfully reached settlements worth $42.9 million with Pfizer, $90 million with GlaxoSmithKline, and $181 million with Janssen Pharmaceutical.

With a dramatic increase in identity theft and data breaches with consumer brands, Peter has initiated several law-enforcement training programs, giving police the tools they need to track down those who operate criminal enterprises from behind a computer screen. He’s also holding giant retailers accountable for data breaches that may compromise customer information.

Education is the best way to prevent Rhode Islanders from becoming victims of scam artists, which is why Peter has led community seminars to educate seniors on identify theft and hosted shred-a-thons to protect Rhode Islanders’private information

 

Peter will continue to fight against those who would take advantage of Rhode Islanders, to serve as an aggressive advocate for consumers, and to provide the leadership we need when up against powerful interests like banks and insurance companies.