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12/2004

Scam Alert: Terry Goddard Warns Arizona Consumers To Be Careful of “Free Government Grants”

(Phoenix, Ariz.) Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned consumers that a scam typically known as “free government grants” is making its way around the state. These companies use telephone solicitations, the U.S. Postal Service, e-mails, and classified ads to contact consumers, promising "free government grants” in return for a fee. The Attorney General’s Office has recently experienced an increase in complaints regarding this scam.

Cochise County Medical Transport Manager Sentenced to Five Years in Prison; Ordered to Forfeit $1.2 million

(Phoenix, Ariz. - December 29, 2004)  Paul Promaj, the manager of a Cochise County medical transportation contractor called Angel Transport, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison after he was found guilty in July of fraud, theft and money laundering in a mileage scheme designed to collect money from three AHCCSS (Arizona Health Cost Containment System) contractors.  Cochise Health Systems and Arizona Physicians IPA lost $385,628.50 in this scheme.

Attorney General Visiting Israel to Learn About Security Steps

(Phoenix, Ariz. - December 28, 2004)  Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard will travel to Israel next week to learn more about that nation's legal system and about preventing and responding to terrorist acts.  

Goddard will make the trip Jan. 6 to 14 with attorneys general from several other states.  

"This will be a unique opportunity to study first-hand the ways Israel responds to terrorism and how it protects its citizens," Goddard said.  

Terry Goddard Settles with El Paso Natural Gas Company; Arizona Consumers Reap Benefits

(Phoenix, Ariz. – December 27, 2004)  Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced an agreement with El Paso Corporation and its subsidiaries that settles a  lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Office alleging that the company manipulated the supply of natural gas, resulting in price increases to Arizona consumers. 

The March 2003 lawsuit alleged that the defendants conspired to reduce the transmission capacity in the El Paso Pipeline in an attempt to elevate natural gas prices in Arizona and increase profits. 

Consumer Advisory: Terry Goddard Advises Consumers on Cell Phone Protection

(Phoenix, Ariz. – December 23, 2004)  Attorney General Terry Goddard today advised Arizona consumers not to worry about receiving telemarketing calls on their cell phones if they missed an alleged December 15 deadline to sign up on the federal Do Not Call list.  The Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call list is available at any time for consumers to register their cell phone numbers. 

“This is one of those urban legends, and the deadline simply does not exist,” Goddard said.   

Attorney General Terry Goddard Names Steve Wilson as Director of Communications

(Phoenix, Ariz. – December 13, 2004)  Attorney General Goddard today announced that Steve M. Wilson will become Director of Communications.  Mr. Wilson will be responsible for all internal and external communications for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.  He replaces Juliet Peters who returned to the private practice of law in September. 

“I am very pleased to welcome Steve to the Attorney General team,” said Goddard.  “His incredible background in all aspects of journalism will be a tremendous asset to Arizona law enforcement.” 

Gilbert Man Indicted for Evading Taxes

(Phoenix, Ariz. – December 2, 2004)  A Gilbert man plead not guilty Wednesday to three felony counts in Maricopa County Superior Court.  John J. Vollaro was indicted by the Arizona State Grand Jury on one count of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, one count of Failure to Pay Tax Due and one count of Possession of Motor Fuel with Intent to Evade Taxes Due.  The indictment was issued November 17, 2004. 

Terry Goddard Settles with Telecommunications Leasing Company Holding NorVergence Lease Agreements

(Phoenix, Ariz. – December 30, 2004)  Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a settlement with TCF Leasing, Inc. to forgive $61,000 in loans for two local companies in connection with a widespread telecommunications fraud involving NorVergence, Inc., a bankrupt New Jersey-based telephone equipment and service company.

Under the agreement filed in Pima County Superior Court, TCF Leasing agreed to forgive the outstanding principal balance due on NorVergence leases held in Arizona.  Two local businesses that will benefit from this settlement are: