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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Announces Creation of New Consumer Protection and Antitrust Unit at the Department of Justice

 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has announced the creation of a new Consumer Protection and Antitrust Unit within the Division of Legal Services (DLS) at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Assistant Attorney General John Greene, an experienced consumer protection attorney, has been appointed director of the new unit. Issues of consumer protection and antitrust have long been a focus of the DOJ but were part of a larger unit within DLS.

 

“The creation of this unit ought to send a message to those who try to profit from illegal, unfair or deceptive practices,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “The Department of Justice has a long history of working to ensure businesses operate lawfully for the sake of the consumer and fair competition, and creating a separate unit entirely only enhances the role we play.”

 

The DOJ enforces the state's consumer protection laws, which prohibit unfair and deceptive business practices in a wide variety of areas, including advertising, sales practices, telemarketing, consumer credit matters, debt collection, and charitable solicitation, among others. Many of the cases prosecuted are referred by other state agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and the Department of Financial Institutions. The new unit will continue to handle mortgage-related complaints as well as other consumer protection and antitrust matters. Previously, Consumer Protection and Antitrust were part of the Criminal Litigation Unit. Anyone may contact the DOJ's Office of Consumer Protection hotline at (800) 998-0700 or (608) 266-1852. Or, email the DOJ at the following address: consumerprotection@doj.state.wi.us.

 

Assistant Attorney General Greene is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. After joining the DOJ in 1990, Greene worked in the Environmental Protection Unit before joining the Criminal Litigation Unit, Antitrust and Consumer Protection Unit in 2004.