Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
2017 CWAG Annual Meeting Registration
San Francisco, CA
July 30- August 2, 2017
The Conference of Western Attorneys General along with CWAG Chair and Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin invite you to the 2017 CWAG Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, July 30-August 2, 2017. Join your colleagues as CWAG explores the most pertinent legal issues during the days and spend the evenings enjoying the urban charm of the city at our social events.

A new and updated agenda is available! [ Click here ]

Hotel room cutoff  date is July 7, 2017
A friendly reminder, the last possible day to reserve room reservations within the CWAG room block is July 7, 2017. If the room block sells out prior to that time, reservations will only be accepted on a space available basis.  The reservation number for the Westin St. Francis is 1.888.627.8546. Ask for the CWAG room block to receive our discounted rates.

To register online use the following link: 2017 CWAG Annual Meeting Registration
If you have attended an annual meeting in the past few years your contact information has been saved in the registration system. Please review your contact information during the registration process to make sure it is current.
To register go to "Sign In" and enter the email address and password you or your assistant previously provided. If you can't recall your password, click on the "Forgot Password" link and your password will be sent to the email that is saved in the system.
If you have not previously registered for the annual meeting go to "New Registration", enter your email and create a personal password to be used for future registrations.
Early Bird Registration:
Early bird registration ended on June 2nd. All registrations received after this date will be charged the regular registration fee.
Onsite Registration:
Pre-registering for primary attendees and guests who would like to attend any of the substantive or social opportunities is required. CWAG must make commitments to the hotel and activity vendors based on pre-registered guests prior to our arrival. The registration fees cover the cost of activities and meals at the conference which have been pre-arranged. Given the necessity of pre planning, we will not be accepting any onsite registrations. 
CWAG Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California
released the 2016 edition of the California Department of Justice (DOJ) Hate Crime in California report. The Hate Crime in California report provides statistics on hate crimes that occurred statewide during 2016, including the number of hate crime events and both the number of victims and suspects of those crimes. The DOJ, all law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and elected city attorney's offices in California, developed local data collection programs and submitted hate crime statistics for this edition of Hate Crime in California. "When someone commits a crime motivated by hate, it is not just an attack on one innocent person, but an attack on the entire State and our communities," said Attorney General Becerra. "We can see from today's report that words matter, and discriminatory rhetoric does not make us stronger but divides us and puts the safety of our communities at risk."
CWAG Associate Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts announced that three individuals have been indicted on human trafficking and money laundering charges for trafficking. A Statewide Grand Jury indicted Pingxia Fan, age 40, of Boston, Timothy Hayes, age 50, of Gloucester, and Simon Shimao Lin, age 59, of Boston, in connection with trafficking women for sex at brothels in Boston, Cambridge, North Reading, and Quincy. "Victims of human trafficking are preyed upon by pimps and traffickers who exploit the most vulnerable among us for profit," said Attorney General Healey. "We allege these defendants ran an extensive criminal operation that took advantage of women and sold them for sex. We thank the FBI and local police departments for their continued partnership in dismantling criminal networks that exploit human beings."
CWAG Associate Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan announced that Andrew Golden, 35, of Sterling Heights, pleaded guilty to one count of Minor Sex Trafficking, for sex trafficking a 17 year-old. He was sentenced at the time of his plea to 20 months - 20 years in prison. "We have had so much activity from our human trafficking unit over the past several months, we can make no mistake:  Human Trafficking is happening in Michigan. We can't ignore the crime happening not just in our cities but in our small towns as well," said Schuette. "I want to once again thank SEMTEC and local law enforcement for their quick action in this case and their continued efforts to fight human trafficking in our state." Created by reallocating resources in the Attorney General's Criminal Division, Schuette's Human Trafficking Unit has placed an increased focus on combating human trafficking in Michigan, a priority Schuette identified upon taking office. The unit works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to uncover and prosecute cases of modern-day slavery involving both children and adults.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Brad Schimel of Wisconsin announced that Radames Hendrix has been indicted on two charges related to sex trafficking. Hendrix was arrested after a grand jury indicted him on one count of Sex Trafficking of a Minor and one count of Trafficking by Force, Threats, and Coercion in October 2013. DCI led this investigation with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Madison Police Department, and Stoughton Police Department. "When I was sworn in as Attorney General I put pimps and 'Johns' on notice and made fighting human trafficking a top priority," said Attorney General Schimel. "The coercion and threats used by sex traffickers to trap the vulnerable in a life of forced prostitution is despicable, especially when they specifically prey on minors. The investigative teamwork between federal, local, and DCI agents is an essential part of tackling these complex crimes."

CWAG Attorney General Tim Fox of Montana filed for intervention in a lawsuit filed in federal court against the U.S. Department of Interior on behalf of the state of Montana, defending the U.S. Department of the Interior's reversal of a moratorium on federal coal leases. The lawsuit, filed by multiple environmental groups as well as attorneys general from New Mexico, California, New York and Washington, seeks to reverse a March 29 Secretarial Order issued by U.S. Department of Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, which ended the moratorium on issuing coal mining leases on federal land. Montana has an estimated 25-percent of the nation's recoverable coal reserves. "Secretary Zinke acted within his authority under the law to reverse a discretionary policy of the previous administration, and the lawsuits objecting to the new policy are purely political and ideological in nature," said Attorney General Fox. "The state of Montana has a significant stake in the continuation of federal coal leases, and is well-positioned to benefit from increased coal mining on our federal lands."
CWAG Associate Attorney General Derek Schmidt of Kansas
announced that a new law will stiffen penalties for scammers who prey on members of the military. Effective July 1, members of the military have been added to the definition of "protected consumer" in the Kansas Consumer Protection Act. This definition has previously included veterans and immediate family members of members of the military, along with elder and disabled persons, but not service personnel themselves. If a violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act is found to have occurred against a consumer fitting one of these descriptions, the court may impose a penalty of up to $20,000 for each violation, double the usual $10,000 maximum penalty. "With three major military bases in our state and thousands of Kansans serving in the National Guard and Reserves, this is a positive change to help protect those who are protecting us," Attorney General Schmidt said. "Scammers who want to take advantage of members of the military should be warned that we are watching for them, and this new law will help strengthen our ability to punish those who try to prey on service personnel."
CWG Associate Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin of Rhode Island announced that legislation filed at his request to create the criminal offense of residential mortgage fraud has passed the state legislature and now moves to the Governor's desk for signature. The legislation makes residential mortgage fraud a felony and those convicted would be subject to imprisonment up to 10 years, a fine of $10,000, or both. If the offender knew that the victim was vulnerable due to age, infirmity, or reduced physical or mental capacity, or national origin, they would be subject to imprisonment up to 15 years, a fine of $15,000, or both; and court-ordered restitution. In addition, any person who engages in a pattern of residential mortgage fraud would be subject to imprisonment up to 20 years, a fine of $100,000 or both. "Rhode Island was among the hardest hit when the housing bubble burst, leaving tens of thousands of homeowners unable to pay their mortgages, and nearly driving our economy off a cliff. Everyone - bankers, mortgage service providers and individuals applying for mortgages - played it fast and loose, often providing false information about the ability of those applying for a mortgage to afford the payments with the promise of a quick commission and with the expectation the market would continue to go up. With this Act, we have put important measures and penalties in place for such reckless and criminal behavior and will ensure Rhode Island is not as vulnerable to another housing downturn," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
CWAG Associate Attorney General TJ Donovan of Vermont announced future meetings at which any interested person may provide comments on data broker regulatory legislation. Broadly speaking, a data broker collects information, including citizens' personal information, from a variety of sources and then sells that information to advertisers and others for various purposes. The Legislature tasked the Attorney General and the Department of Financial Regulation to propose legislation or make a recommendation about whether, or how, to regulate the data broker industry. The working group will consult with consumer and industry stakeholders, and receive comments from the public. The working group's recommendation or draft legislation is due by December 15, 2017.
CWAG Attorney General Sean Reyes of Utah announced a sweeping investigation of heroin and cocaine dealing near a Salk Lake City homeless shelter resulted in 35 arrests and the seizure of more than 70 pounds of drugs and $1.25 million in assets. Attorney General Reyes described the operation as a "huge takedown" of a sophisticated, foreign-based criminal organization. "We feel we've eradicated an entire network," Attorney General Reyes said. "Of course, the question is going to come: Does that mean somebody else won't step into the breach? No, we can't guarantee that another enterprising criminal group won't try to exploit the same environment, but word has gotten out, I guarantee you, that Utah is being highly aggressive." Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies teamed for the investigation, which began by targeting methamphetamine distributors in February 2016 but changed course in response to epidemic opiate abuse.
Chris Coppin | Legal Director
Conference of Western Attorneys General