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Event Description

Please join us for a Common Ground Conference focusing on consumer protection issues affecting people in Northern California. At the conference, participants will share experiences and challenges, make connections, and discuss how groups can better collaborate and share information and resources. The Federal Trade Commission, California Attorney General’s Office, Golden Gate Better Business Bureau, and Berkeley Law Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice are co-sponsoring this event. The conference will be free and open to the public.

To register, please send an email with your name and affiliation to FTC-SF2019 (at)

Logos for The Federal Trade Commission, California Attorney General’s Office, Golden Gate Better Business Bureau, and Berkeley Law Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice

  • 8:45 am‐9:10 am

    Registration and Networking

    9:10 am‐9:35 am


    Thomas Dahdouh
    Regional Director
    Federal Trade Commission
    Western Region

    Opening Remarks

    Serena Viswanathan
    Acting Deputy Director
    Bureau of Consumer Protection
    Federal Trade Commission

    Ted Mermin
    Executive Director
    Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice

    9:35-10:45 am

    Panel 1: Roundtable – who we are; resources we can provide


    Nick Akers
    Sr. Assistant Attorney General
    Consumer Law Section
    California Department of Justice

    Matt Beltramo
    Assistant District Attorney
    Alameda District Attorney’s Office

    Alanna Carbis
    Sr. Attorney
    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    Juliana Fredman
    Sr. Staff Attorney
    Bay Area Legal Aid

    Charles Carriere
    Sr. Counsel
    Enforcement Division
    California Department of Business Oversight

    Suzanne Martindale
    Sr. Policy Counsel & Western States Legislative Manager
    Consumer Reports

    Judith Anderson
    Assistant Regional Director
    Securities and Exchange Commission

    Danica Rodarmel
    Racial Justice Program Fellow
    Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

    Evan Ackiron
    Chief, White Collar Crime Division, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office


    Sarah Schroeder
    Federal Trade Commission

    10:45-11:00 am

    Break and Networking

    11:00-11:45 pm

    Panel 2: Emerging Trends in Consumer Fraud


    Sharon Djemal
    Consumer Justice Clinic
    East Bay Community Law Center

    Michael Elisofon
    Supervising Deputy Attorney General
    Consumer Law Section
    Cal. Dept. of Justice

    Niem Nguyen
    Supervisory Special Agent
    Economic Crimes Unit
    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Lori Wilson
    Better Business Bureau of Oakland

    Moderator and Panelist:

    Yasser Dandashly

    Federal Trade Commission

    11:45 am-12:30 pm

    Panel 3: Break‐Out Sessions

    Each participant identifies his/her organization and what it does, what successes and challenged the organization has experienced, how we can work together to fulfill out missions, and resources that we can share

    1. Scams against certain populations (including older consumers, military families, teenagers, and immigrants) and how to provide helpful outreach information

    2. Imposter scams, including abusive debt collection practices, IRS scams, and misleading PACE advertisements

    3. Employment and education‐related scams, including business opportunity and work‐at home scams, for‐profit schools, student loan debt relief, and educational loans

    4. Investigative tips and techniques – how to build a consumer protection case

    12:30 pm

    Closing Remarks and Next Steps for Collaboration

    Kerry O’Brien
    Assistant Regional Director
    Federal Trade Commission
    Western Region
    San Francisco



    Provided by the Better Business Bureau

FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register for events that require registration. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s Privacy Act system for public records and comprehensive privacy policy.

This event will be open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded.  By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.