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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.

Santa Fe, NM---Attorney General Hector Balderas today issued an advisory warning to New Mexicans about emerging scams where individuals are calling New Mexicans, saying that they are calling from the Second Judicial District Court, and that the recipient must meet someone immediately to pay court fees in cash or risk going to jail. The advisory comes after the Second Judicial District Court alerted the Office of the Attorney General that they had received information from several community members that they received a call saying the caller was from the Court and that the person was to meet them in a parking lot to pay their fines in cash.

Albuquerque, NM---Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that alleged serial child molester, James Henz, was bound over for trial in district court on numerous counts of sexual assault and other crimes against five young victims. If convicted on all counts, Henz will likely spend the rest of his life incarcerated. The district court also granted the Office of the Attorney General’s motion to hold Henz without bond before trial on the grounds that he is a danger to the community.

Santa Fe, NM---Attorney General Hector Balderas and Representatives Georgene Louis and Elizabeth Thomson have introduced House Bill 56, which is aimed at modernizing New Mexico’s anti-human trafficking laws to 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, will have its first committee hearing today in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.

Santa Fe, NM---Attorney General Hector Balderas announced today that his office has filed charges in the Second Judicial District against James Brandon Henz, alleging that he repeatedly sexually assaulted seven young victims over a period of a few years. Henz was arrested on these charges last week and is being held pending a preliminary hearing. The Attorney General’s Office has also filed a motion to keep Henz in jail pending trial, alleging that he is a danger to the community if released.

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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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