Professor Chris Peterson, the College of Law’s John J. Flynn Endowed Professor of Law, joined California Attorney General Rob Bonta and California Assembly Member Brian Maienschein at an April 7 press conference to announce proposed legislation protecting victims of predatory businesses found to have violated California consumer protection laws.
California Assembly Bill 1366, also known as the Victims of Consumer Fraud Restitution Fund bill, would establish a new state restitution fund to protect and compensate consumers who have been defrauded by predatory businesses, even when those businesses collapse or become insolvent and thus leave no resources to compensate victims for their losses.
Peterson is a widely recognized authority on consumer protection and consumer finance who served in several positions in the Obama Administration, including as Special Advisor in the Office of the Director at the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
AB 1366 draws on a publication that Peterson co-authored with Prentiss Cox of the University of Minnesota Law School titled “Consumer Restitution Funds: A New Form of Private Consumer Law Enforcement,” which was published in the Yale Journal on Regulation last year. The article proposes a legal framework for establishing funds such as the one proposed in California.
“The Victims of Consumer Fraud Restitution Fund legislation will be an effective, commonsense addition to California‘s consumer protection toolkit,” said Peterson. “AB 1366 is an example of strong leadership in the fight to put consumers first and to stop scammers and predatory companies from profiting through deceit.”
If passed, the legislation would make California the first state to establish a consumer restitution fund to compensate victims of fraudulent business practices.