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02/5/2018

Attorney General Curtis Hill warns of tax fraud 

  

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is warning Hoosiers to beware of scams in which their identities are stolen and used to file fraudulent tax returns. 

For many families, the New Year brings hope of long awaited tax refunds. People may make plans to pay off debts or make significant purchases. Unfortunately, tax identity thieves may also be making plans to use those hard-earned dollars.    

Tax identify thieves use other people’s Social Security Numbers (SSN) to file taxes and/or even obtain jobs. Most victims initially will not even be aware that this has happened. Some will be notified upon e-filing that a tax return has already been filed using their SSN.   

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Inspector General to bring awareness and tools to help people protect themselves from tax identity theft.    

On their website, the FTC has provided free webinars and other information in order to learn what to do if you or someone you know needs assistance with tax identity theft or an IRS imposter scam. Information specifically dedicated to taxpayers, military service members and small business operators can also be found on the site.  

The IRS has offered the following warning signs of possible tax-related identity theft: 

 

  • More than one tax return was filed for you; 
  • You owe additional tax, have a refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return, or; 
  • IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer for whom you did not work. 

If you believe you have been the victim of tax-related or any other type of identity theft, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General office can help. Go to indianaconsumer.com or call 1-800-382-5516 to make a complaint.  PDF

 

 

12/13/2017

 Attorney General’s Mobile Operations Center visiting Evansville for Drug Takeback event

The Office of Attorney General Mobile Operations Center (MOC) is visiting Evansville for a Drug Takeback event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (CST) today -- Wednesday, December 13, 2017 -- at Bethel Manor Rehabilitation and Nursing Home Services, 6015 Kratzville Road, Evansville.

All individuals are encouraged to bring their unused, unwanted and/or expired medications to this event in order to dispose of them safely and prevent them from posing future hazards.

The MOC is a dark blue Ford Transit Van with Office of Attorney General branding on the windows. This year, it has made stops in all 92 counties to help residents freeze their credit, file consumer complaints, find unclaimed property and take advantage of other constituent services offered through the Office of Attorney General.


12/12/2017

AG Curtis Hill pens op-ed about CBD oil and Indiana law

Attorney General Curtis Hill today released an op-ed piece about CBD oil and its status under Indiana law.

The Attorney General’s op-ed is attached and available for publication by any and all media outlets.

If you intend to publish this piece, please let us know by emailing Deputy Communications Director Bill McCleery at bill.mccleery@atg.in.gov

 


12/11/2017

AG Curtis Hill leads 13-state effort challenging Massachusetts' restrictive farming regulations

Complaint filed today with U.S. Supreme Court

Attorney General Curtis Hill announced today he is leading a multi-state lawsuit challenging attempts by Massachusetts to impose agricultural regulations on Indiana and other states.

Joining Indiana in the lawsuit are 12 other states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The suit, filed today in the U.S. Supreme Court, targets a Massachusetts law preventing the sale in Massachusetts of eggs, pork and veal from livestock not housed according to Massachusetts specifications – regardless of where in the United States the livestock was raised or where the food items were produced. The Massachusetts law resulted from a 2016 referendum.

The case involves a concept known as horizontal federalism.

“Under the U.S. Constitution, states must respect the rights and prerogatives of other states,” Attorney General Hill said. “No state has the right to dictate how other states choose to regulate business operations and manufacturing processes within their own borders.”

Today's action marks the second case this month involving horizontal federalism in which Indiana has been involved. Last week, Indiana joined a 13-state effort to challenge a California law requiring egg producers in all other states to comply with California’s farming regulations regarding housing of poultry in order to sell eggs in that state.

Both the California and Massachusetts laws, Attorney General Hill said, violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress exclusive authority to regulate commerce among and between states.

“No one disputes that individual states have every right to regulate products based on such priorities as protecting consumer health and safety,” Attorney General Hill said. “But that’s a different scenario from when one state sits in judgment of another state’s manufacturing and production processes despite the lack of any discernible impact on product quality or safety. States should not erect barriers to the free flow of products from other states.”

States’ legal complaints against other states must be filed directly in the U.S. Supreme Court, as Congress has provided that “[t]he Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies between two or more States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1251(a).

Attached, see legal documents pertaining to the lawsuit.

Combined+files+pdfa+compliant.pdf

 


12/11/2017

AG Hill urges federal agency to delay implementation of new rules affecting truckers and transportation companies

INDIANAPOLIS – In a letter mailed this week to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Attorney General Curtis Hill urged a delay in implementing new rules requiring the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) by commercial drivers. To immediately impose the new rules – set to take effect December 18 -- would place undue burdens on drivers and operators, he wrote.

General Hill particularly took issue with the new requirements’ reliance on manufacturers to “self-certify” devices as complying with government standards – with no effective procedures seemingly yet developed to provide oversight over this process.

Drivers and operators are left without any way of ascertaining which brands and models of devices ultimately will pass muster, General Hill observed – setting up the risk they could invest in purchasing of devices later found to be inadequate.

Even while urging delay, the Office of Attorney General also is taking steps to ensure truckers and trucking companies are aware of the new regulations -- collaborating with other state agencies to distribute information to relevant audiences.

Attached are 1) the Attorney General’s letter to the FMCSA and 2) a handout being distributed to raise awareness of the new rules.

 


12/8/2017

Jail Chemical Addiction Program is focus of Evansville meeting

INDIANAPOLIS – The Office of Attorney General is hosting a Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP) meeting at 1 p.m. (CST) Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Room 108 of the Civic Center Complex Administration Building, 1 NW Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Evansville.

At the meeting, representatives from Dearborn County, including Superior Court Judge Sally McLaughlin, will share insights they have gleaned from running a JCAP program that has gained recognition for its overall excellence.

Among those sharing their experiences will be inmates currently participating in JCAP; a graduate of the program; and officials involved with administering it.

The JCAP model is built on the premise that targeting inmate populations represents one of the best methods of reaching drug users most in need of services. Incarceration can play a vital role in helping addicts recognize their need for intervention, but quality substance-abuse programs during and after jail time must be part of the equation if the cycle of abuse and addiction is to be broken.

The Office of Attorney General has invited prosecutors, sheriffs and other officials from counties in the region.

Note: Please RSVP to Deputy Director of Communications Bill McCleery at bill.mccleery@atg.in.gov if you plan to attend this meeting


12/7/2017

AG Curtis Hill participates in statewide launch of TV and radio PSAs warning against dangers of drug abuse   

            Prevention messages, aimed at diverse audiences, will air on 200 stations statewide

Attorney General Curtis Hill announced today his office is partnering with the Indiana Drug Enforcement Association (IDEA) and Indiana Broadcasters Association to launch a series of statewide public-service announcements discouraging drug abuse.

The PSAs feature actors portraying everyday individuals facing choices that could lead to long-term consequences.

“Each generation must rise to the challenge of teaching personal responsibility and wise decision-making," Attorney General Hill said. "This role begins within families, with strong mentoring by fathers and mothers, but it extends also to public servants in every community and at the state and federal levels. In line with these priorities, education and prevention efforts must remain robust components of our efforts to fight drug abuse."

The ads will air on 200 TV and radio stations throughout the state.

“A vital part of our organization’s mission is participating in programs to educate the public concerning the hazards of drug abuse,” said IDEA Training/Operations Director Gary Ashenfelter. “That’s why we’re investing in these PSAs. Prevention efforts can save people’s lives.”

The ads will begin airing immediately and run throughout 2018.

Watch “Hospital” PSA here.

Watch “Classroom” PSA here.


​12/7/2017

AG Curtis Hill seeks to intervene in federal immigration case involving Marion County Sheriff's Department 

            State has legitimate interest in defending its own laws, AG asserts 

Attorney General Curtis Hill announced today that he has filed a motion to intervene in the federal case Antonio Lopez-Aguilar vs. Marion County Sheriff's Department, et al. The motion to intervene was filed in order to defend Indiana’s law prohibiting local governments from establishing policies against cooperating with federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration laws.

On November 7, 2017, a federal judge approved a consent decree in this case between the two parties in which both agreed that the defendant – the Marion County Sheriff’s Department – would not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention requests. Because both the defendant and plaintiff supported the consent decree, the Attorney General said, no one in the case represented Indiana’s legitimate interest in upholding state law. In addition, he said, no one notified the Office of Attorney General about the case before the consent decree was entered.

The case stems from a September 2014 incident in which federal authorities asked the Marion County Sheriff’s Department to detain Antonio Lopez-Aguilar until ICE officers could take him into custody for allegedly being in the country illegally. At the time, Lopez-Aguilar was appearing in Marion County Traffic Court on a misdemeanor charge of driving without a license.

Such a decree, Attorney General Hill said, runs counter to Indiana law and public safety. “Our nation’s immigration laws are put in place to protect the public. Establishing a policy that requires law enforcement personnel to not cooperate with each other not only violates Indiana law but jeopardizes public safety,” said Attorney General Hill.

For a more complete explanation of the state’s motion to intervene, see the attached document.

Motion+to+intervene+-+Lopez-Aguilar.pdf


​12/5/2017

AG Curtis Hill seeks U.S. Supreme Court ruling against California's restrictive farming regulations

            Actions aimed at protecting Indiana farmers from aggressive over-regulation

Attorney General Curtis Hill announced today his office has joined a 12-state effort to challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court attempts by California to impose agricultural regulations on Indiana and other states.

The lawsuit opposes a California law requiring egg producers in all other states to comply with California’s farming regulations regarding housing of poultry in order to sell eggs in that state. The suit claims that California’s regulations violate both a federal law prohibiting states from imposing their own standards on eggs produced in other states and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress exclusive authority to regulate commerce among and between states.

In 2016, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an earlier group of plaintiff states lacked standing to pursue their claims in this regard. Today’s filing in the U.S. Supreme Court, however, answers this assertion by providing a careful economic analysis that establishes the impact of these burdensome regulations.

"This case involves a concept known as horizontal federalism,” Attorney General Hill said. “Under the Constitution, states must respect one another’s sovereign prerogatives.”

Especially worth noting, he added, is that the California law has nothing to do with the quality of the products sold to consumers.

“Obviously, every state has the right to regulate products based on such factors as consumer health and safety,” Attorney General Hill said. “It’s another thing altogether for one state to sit in judgment of other states’ manufacturing and production processes – and to erect barriers to products from other states based upon that judgment.”

In the case against California, Indiana joins lead plaintiff Missouri along with Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin.

States’ legal complaints against other states must be filed directly in the U.S. Supreme Court, as Congress has provided that “[t]he Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies between two or more States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1251(a).

A copy of the lawsuit is attached.

Eggs+Final+Filing.pdf


​11/21/2017

AG Curtis Hill: Cannabidiol (CBD) products are illegal in Indiana

Attorney General Curtis Hill today released the following statement in conjunction with the issuance of an advisory opinion from his office regarding the legality of cannabidiol products.

“Over recent weeks, I’ve worked with my staff to develop an advisory opinion regarding the status under Indiana law of the chemical compound cannabidiol – better known as ‘CBD.’ Cannabidiol is one of the most prevalent chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, otherwise known as marijuana.

“This issue has drawn public attention this year following law-enforcement actions against Indiana stores marketing and selling ‘CBD oil,’ a substance delivered to consumers in dropper bottles, sprays or mists – all generally to be taken orally.

“My task at this juncture is not to express my personal view of what I believe the law ought to stipulate. My task, rather, is to help provide clarity regarding what the law already says as written.

“There is no doubt, as a matter of legal interpretation, that products or substances marketed generally for human consumption or ingestion, and containing cannabidiol, remain unlawful in Indiana as well as under federal law.

“Indiana law does allow for a limited and focused exception created by House Enrolled Act 1148, signed earlier this year, aimed at individuals battling treatment-resistant epilepsy. This legislation pertains specifically to individuals properly added to the newly created Indiana State Department of Health Cannabidiol Registry.

“Cannabidiol is classified under state and federal law as a Schedule I controlled substance because marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is a Schedule I controlled substance. State and federal laws that place cannabidiol in the category of a Schedule I controlled substance do not hinge on the degree or prevalence of pharmacological effects of a substance on a person.

“The manufacture, possession, use and sale of cannabidiol – and substances, food products or edible oils containing cannabidiol – are unlawful under both Indiana and federal law. Any individual possessing a substance containing cannabidiol – or anything packaged as such – in plain view of a law enforcement officer is subject to having that property seized. Only upon showing that one meets the limited conditions under Indiana law could one expect to avoid being prosecuted under Indiana law. Further, no one in Indiana is authorized to sell cannabidiol or any substance containing cannabidiol under state or federal law.”

See full advisory opinion here.

 


2017 Press Releases

Why I Stand - PDF

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