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News State / Region

Funds from wrongdoers will go to fight fraud, improve health care in N.C.

Projects to protect North Carolina consumers, improve health care, and fight fraud against seniors, military personnel and veterans are now eligible for up to $4.5 million in grants, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced recently.

“When scams and shady businesses target North Carolinians, our goal is to stop the harm and try to win money back for consumers whenever possible,” Cooper said. “We’ve also won money from wrongdoers that can help worthy projects in North Carolina through these grants.”

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If you’re a retiree receiving a pension, beware of a new scam: offers that claim to let you borrow against your pension without actually taking out a loan. Pension advance companies promises retirees quick access to cash. The catch? You’re signing over the rights to your pension — often for years.

Recently, North Carolinians have been filing complaints with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division about pension advance companies. These companies disguise high-interest rate loans as pension advances, with fees and interest rates often exceeding 100 percent of the amount borrowed. One military retiree received an “advance” of $10,000 but must pay back more than $25,000 from his future pension payments.

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Macon County received nearly $340K in 2013

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan sent a bipartisan letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to request full funding of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program in the upcoming appropriations bill. More than 1.7 million acres in North Carolina are federal lands that cannot be taxed, and as a result, county governments lose vital tax revenue each year. Many North Carolina counties depend on PILT to help pay for essential services, such as law enforcement, public safety, infrastructure maintenance, education and health services.

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North Carolina’s commercial motor vehicle drivers are reminded that they must meet the federal requirement to certify whether they drive interstate or intrastate and for what purpose no later than Jan. 30, 2014. If required, they must provide their current DOT medical card to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. Additionally, drivers are required to continue to carry paper copies of their medical cards through January 2015 to protect against being cited for violations.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that medical cards must be carried for an additional year because some states are not yet in full compliance with the new system that will automate interstate commercial driver license records. Once the online database – the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) – carries information from all states, commercial drivers will no longer have to provide their medical cards to federal or state inspectors for review at the roadside.

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published: 10/18/2013
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