MONTPELIER – Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced Thursday that the State of Vermont will receive nearly $3 million in settlements after he says his office took consumer and environmental protection actions against four corporations.
“We’re standing up and fighting for Vermonters when Vermonters get ripped off,” Donovan said in a press conference Thursday. “Making sure we’re protecting our environment and standing up for clean air, and protecting students from predatory student loan practices.”
The largest settlement will come from Wells Fargo, and accounts for nearly $2 million of the total sum. Donovan said the bank violate state consumer protection laws by opening unauthorized accounts without customers’ knowledge and improperly charged auto loan customers for unnecessary insurance, among other violations.
Fiat Chrysler and Bosch will pay $907,000 for allegedly violating Vermont’s emission control regulations by adding “defeat devices” to diesel vehicles, allowing them to pass emmissions testing while exceeding regulations on the road. According to Donovan, the vehicles were marketed to Vermont consumers as “environmentally friendly.”
The final settlement, totaling $50,000, comes from Career Education Corp., which settled with the state over “unfair and deceptive practices relating to misrepresentations about quality of education, employment prospects, and costs of student loans.” The settlement is part of a larger one involving 48 other states, and the A.G.’s office says 129 Vermont students were impacted.