Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
|For Immediate Release: |
June 27, 2012
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
Boxer Praises Settlement Protecting Veterans from Predatory Practices
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), co-chair of the Senate Military Family Caucus, praised the consumer protection settlement announced by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway that will require the Foster City, California-based company, QuinStreet, Inc., to turn over its website, www.GIBill.com, to the Department of Veterans Affairs and pay $2.5 million to the states involved in the agreement reached with 20 state Attorneys General.
The states alleged that the website, which generates leads for for-profit colleges and universities, violated consumer protection laws by misleading veterans in their recruitment practices. The website featured a list of “eligible GI Bill schools” that included only institutions that were clients of QuinStreet, according to the states.
Senator Boxer said, “For too long, our nation’s veterans have been the targets of these misleading ads and marketing schemes. The settlement announced today by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is the first step toward cracking down on these predatory practices. I will continue my push for legislation to permanently protect the phrase ‘GI Bill’ in law so that we can end these abuses once and for all.”
Senator Boxer has been a leader in the effort to stop for-profit schools from misleading veterans about how they can use their GI Bill education benefits. Earlier this month she introduced the GI Bill Protection Act of 2012, which would permanently prohibit the inappropriate and deceptive use of the phrase “GI Bill.” The bill would give the same statutory protection to the phrase “GI Bill” that Congress has given in the past to phrases such as “American Veterans,” and the names of federal benefit programs like “Medicare” and “Social Security.” The measure has been endorsed by the Military Officers Association of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Senator Boxer also sent a letter earlier this year with 13 colleagues urging Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to file a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase “GI Bill” to put an end to these abuses. In April, President Obama announced that he was directing Secretary Shinseki to move forward with trademarking this phrase.