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Santa Fe, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the Office of the Attorney General is hosting a National Drug Take Back Day location in downtown Santa Fe this Saturday, April 24, 2021. New Mexicans can safely dispose of prescription drugs (no questions asked) like opioids, sleep medications, and Benzodiazepines in order to keep them out of the hands of our youth and to prevent dangerous addictions. All types of prescription drugs will be accepted for safe disposal by the Office of the Attorney General from 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday. If you cannot make it to the Office of the Attorney General, you can find a location near you at: https://takebackday.dea.gov

Albuquerque, NM - Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the indictment of Maria de Lourdes Ramos de Ruiz, former owner of VIP Salon, on 24 felony charges, including: practicing medicine without a license, racketeering, fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. In 2019, it was revealed that at least two of the salon’s clients contracted HIV and had received so-called “Vampire Facials,” a medical procedure involving Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. This resulted in the Office of the Attorney General’s investigation of the business and its owner, whose indictment was filed Monday.

LBUQUERQUE, NM---Today, Attorney General Balderas announced that John Dickman was convicted of three counts of sexual exploitation of children through manufacture and two other related charges. Dickman and his wife Crystal Dickman, sexually abused two young girls in their care and made child sexual abuse materials involving the girls, who were both younger than six years old. Crystal Dickman previously pled guilty to similar crimes and was sentenced to 18 years for her role. Yesterday, in Bernalillo County District Court, John Dickman pleaded guilty to five charges and was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

Santa Fe, NM–Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the Office of the Attorney General has secured a prison sentence for Lolita Begay-Yazzie as a result of her guilty plea to one count of fraud in excess of $20,000, a second degree felony, and one count of Medicaid Fraud for Failure to Retain Documents, a fourth degree felony. Begay-Yazzie defrauded New Mexico’s Medicaid program of over $445,000. The court sentenced Begay-Yazzie to five-and-one-half years in the Department of Corrections, suspending three years, meaning Begay-Yazzie will serve a period of two-and-one-half years in prison. She will also be required to pay full restitution in the amount of $445,352 and will be barred from serving as a provider under Medicare, Medicaid or any other state or federal health care program until she has been reinstated by the Office of the Inspector General.

Santa Fe, NM—Attorney General Balderas today called on the U.S. Department of Education to cancel federal student loan debt of those who attended ITT Technical Institute. The now defunct for-profit school defrauded thousands of individuals by encouraging them to enroll and borrow loans based on false and misleading information about the value of an ITT degree and empty promises of high-paying jobs after graduation. The borrower defense application that a bipartisan coalition of 24 states and the District of Columbia filed today includes students who attended ITT Tech between at least 2007 and 2011 when these deceptive tactics were used to convince students to attend the school and borrow federal student aid. This widespread and pervasive misrepresentation violated state consumer protection laws. Federal law permits the Department of Education to forgive federal student loans when borrowers were deceived in obtaining loans. The attorneys general are demanding full relief to ITT students, including refunds of the money students already paid on those loans.

ALBUQUERQUE, NM---Today, Attorney General Balderas announced that Valencia County Magistrate Court Judge John R. Chavez found probable cause that Leo Martinez and Robbie Proffitt committed the felony crimes of embezzlement, fraud, and forgery. Proffitt and Martinez, two commercial truck drivers, allegedly stole approximately $500,000 worth of bulk hay that they were supposed to have delivered to Pareo Farm, a family dairy farm in Valencia County. Instead, the pair sold that stolen hay to another Valencia County rancher, and fraudulently billed Pareo Farm for delivery of the hay that was stolen from them.

Santa Fe, NM---Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the State of New Mexico filed suit against the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC" or "the Commission") and the United States seeking to stop them from indefinitely storing the nation’s supply of high level radioactive waste in South Eastern New Mexico. The complaint alleges that the NRC is acting beyond the scope of its authority in licensing the proposed interim storage facility to be located in Lea and Eddy County and that the interim storage facility will jeopardize the State's water resources and agricultural interests and shift to the state and local governments the enormously expensive job of training and equipping first responders for up to 120 years to deal with any mishap that occurs as a result of the NRC's untested and unauthorized plan, among other things.

Santa Fe, NM --- Attorney General Balderas today filed a lawsuit in the First Judicial District Court of New Mexico against Gilead Sciences, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, LLC, and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., for violating the New Mexico Antitrust Act and New Mexico Unfair Practices Act. The lawsuit stems from the development, marketing, and manufacturing of several antiretroviral medications used in the prevention and treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (“HIV”) – a disease which, if left untreated, destroys the immune system and leads to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (“AIDS”). The antiretroviral medications at issue include VIREAD®, TRUVADA®, ATRIPLA®, VEMLIDY®, and DESCOVY®.

Santa Fe, NM—Attorney General Balderas today joined 30 attorneys general in urging the Federal Communications Commission to fund internet connectivity and internet-enabled devices to K-12 students whose schools are closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and who are learning online at home or other locations. This month, the FCC asked for comment on petitions urging the commission to temporarily waive some restrictions on its E-Rate program to allow schools to extend their broadband internet networks to students’ homes and to allow E-Rate funds to support Wi-Fi hotspots or other broadband connections for students who lack adequate internet connectivity to participate in remote schooling. In their comment letter to the FCC, the attorneys general urge the commission to promptly take action to unlock the doors of the virtual classroom while physical schools remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santa Fe, NM---Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas and Representatives Georgene Louis and Elizabeth Thomson applauded the New Mexico House of Representatives for passing House Bill 56, which is aimed at modernizing New Mexico’s anti-human trafficking laws to center and protect the rights of human trafficking victims and survivors, particularly children who are trafficked in the State. The bill, which was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives during the 2020 legislative session, passed the House by a vote of 63-3 and will now move onto the Senate.

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Albuquerque, NM – This afternoon, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a Scam Alert in response to a new scam hitting New Mexico that threatens a ‘criminal lawsuit’ by the IRS if the caller’s message is not returned. The digitized voice in the recording claims to be Officer Edward Jonathon calling from the legal department of the Internal Revenue Service and leaves a call back number along with his threats.


Albuquerque, NM – This morning, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a scam alert regarding phone recordings threatening New Mexicans with federal enforcement action by the U. S. Treasury and appearances before a grand jury or federal magistrate judge. The scam recording tells New Mexicans they must call various phone numbers with out of state area codes. Scams like this one are flooding New Mexico and since May 2, 2016, nearly 700 reports have been made...

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