Friday, September 28, 2012

Predatory Loan Shark Scuttled

Lots of good news for New Mexicans this week.  Undoubtedly, the highlight was the huge win for Attorney General King’s lawsuit against predatory lender FastBucks, LLC. Initial estimates put restitution for victims at $10,000,000...yes, ten million dollars! In addition to that, the company, with offices around New Mexico, was ordered to stop making illegal loans and will be unable to enforce certain current loans that are not in compliance with state law.

It was a big night in Hobbs Thursday night as about 50 people from Southeast New Mexico attended a Train the Trainer anti-meth session conducted by AG King’s office. The training project is aimed at raising awareness of the meth problem with community members and teaching them how to conduct their own local presentations on the dangers of methamphetamine abuse.

And today saw another big legal win for AG King’s office. The AG charged an Arizona firm with illegally offering and providing unauthorized immigration services in New Mexico. Centro Ayuda primarily targeted Spanish-speaking customers in the Albuquerque area offering them immigration services, including preparation of a Deferred Action application, a recently announced federal immigration program. Under a deferred action, certain undocumented immigrants who meet specific requirements are able to apply for an employment authorization for a period of two years. Centro Ayuda has agreed to close its Albuquerque office and dissolve its organization.

Friday, September 21, 2012

AGO Happenings This Week

Congratulations to our Criminal Appeals Division for a successful appeal this week that resulted in a court decision affirming the mandatory use of ignition interlock devices for first time DWI offenders, no matter what the source of their impairment.  The Court of Appeals sided with the Attorney General’s Office which argued that the interlock device requirement does not violate either the U.S. or New Mexico constitutions.  The case stemmed from the conviction for DWI of a woman in Santa Fe County who was found to have a number of prescription drugs in her system, but no alcohol.  She asked that the vehicle interlock requirement be removed in a conditional plea agreement and her request was granted by a Santa Fe District Court.  The Court of Appeals decision reverses the lower court’s ruling.

AG King addressed students at Griegos Elementary School in Albuquerque for their observance of national Constitution Day Wednesday.  He told the students about how our government works, why it works, and how they can aspire to be a future attorney general, governor, or president.  Upon asking one young boy if he knew how the Constitution began the student recited the entire Preamble.  AG King, a Constitutional scholar, was duly impressed.