On September 20, 2018, the FTC and Utah Department of Commerce held a symposium in Salt Lake City, Utah, discussing, among other things, how the two work together to combat consumer fraud in various areas. The panels provided a unique insight into how law enforcement agencies coordinate and their respective priorities. Below are two key takeaways from the various panels.

  1. State and Federal Agencies Are Working Together

Although it may seem like no one is getting along these days, there continues to be a significant degree of coordination and cooperation between the federal government and state counterparts to achieve the common goal of battling consumer fraud. Agencies are forming partnerships to better understand vulnerable areas for consumers and better situate themselves to obtain the most consumer redress. Some groups, such as the Investment Fraud Working Group, which comprises both federal and state agencies, meet formally every quarter to discuss strategic plans. For example, as a panelist noted, depending on the size of a given case and whether it involves activities crossing state lines, the Utah Department of Commerce may refer a case to the FTC because it can cross state borders and can obtain asset freezes and temporary restraining orders.


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gift boxIn part II of our series on our wish list for the new FTC, we look at the issue of the pace of FTC investigations. And just like Tom Cruise, we feel the need, the need for speed.

Now it’s no secret that, for the most part, FTC investigations proceed slowly. Some of that is no doubt due to resource limitations and a wish for more FTC resources is just not likely one that Santa can make come true. Putting aside more resources, are there other creative alternatives that could be considered?


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gift boxThere’s been a lot of talk about the one eensy weensy Supreme Court vacancy, but nary a word about the not one but TWO FTC vacancies. Indeed, if any of you were out and about recently, say at the theater perhaps, you might have been sitting near a future FTC Commissioner. So, let’s imagine for a second that we were talented enough to appear in the theater (ok, truth be told, Amy is, but that’s a blog for another day) and that all of you are wealthy enough to be able to afford Hamilton tickets and sit among possible future FTC appointees. What would we say to all of you about the possible future direction of the FTC? What might be on a new administration’s wish list? We’ll explore these questions in a few upcoming blogs. We’d love to hear your thoughts as well.
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The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection routinely goes into federal district court seeking redress or disgorgement in cases of alleged fraud and deception.  The folks in the FTC’s Bureau of Competition recently indicated that they may want to start more regularly seeking such relief.  One interesting question raised by all of this is: Can the