The Federal Trade Commission will host a Heartland Common Ground Conference, in cooperation with the Offices of the Attorney General for the States of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas, on March 9 and 10, 2020, at the University of Memphis – Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
The March 9 conference will bring together advocates, law enforcers, regulators, social service providers, and others to discuss consumer protection issues affecting the American Heartland. The discussion will include issues relating to senior and elder fraud, protecting underserved communities, effective outreach strategies, combating unlawful robocalls, and working together effectively to protect consumers. The Honorable Herbert Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter for the State of Tennessee, will be the Keynote Speaker at the event.
There will also be a law enforcement only conference on March 10.
The Peabody Hotel in Memphis is offering conference attendees a limited number of rooms at a special rate of $123.00 per night.
The Peabody Hotel
149 Union Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
Reservations: (901) 529‐4000
The March 9 conference is free to attend and all are welcome; the March 10 conference is limited to law enforcement personnel only.
Registration is not necessary to attend, but is encouraged so that we may better plan this event. To register, please complete the Heartland Common Ground Conference Registration Form.
Monday, March 9, 2020–Open Session
Registration and Check-in
Director – FTC Southwest Regional Office
Director – FTC Southeast Regional Office
Director – FTC Midwest Regional Office
Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission
The Honorable Herbert H. Slatery, III
Attorney General and Reporter for the State of Tennessee
Jeff Hill,, Deputy Attorney General, Consumer Protection & Advocate Division, Office of the Tennessee Attorney General
Addressing Elder and Senior Fraud Issues in Consumer Protection
Carroll L. André, III, Principal Deputy Criminal Chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney
Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee
Timothy S. McCole, Assistant Director, Enforcement Division
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ft. Worth Regional Office
Ann Mikkelsen, Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division
Office of Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, III
Andrew Smith, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection
Federal Trade Commission
L. Christopher Styron, Consumer Protection Section Chief Louisiana Department of Justice
Working Together to Protect Underserved Communities from Consumer Fraud
LaShaunné David, Director of VA Privacy Service
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Maria Mayo, Assistant Director, Division of Consumer Response and Operations
Federal Trade Commission
Elizabeth A. Moran, Deputy Director
Missouri Developmental Disabilities Counsel
Stacie Price, Attorney
Disability Rights Tennessee
Olha Rybakoff, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Public Protection Division
Office of Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, III
Shelia Terrell, Chief Operations Officer RISE Foundation
Amy Haywood, Chief Counsel, Consumer Protection Section, Office of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt
Designing and Implementing Effective Communication Strategies
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education
Federal Trade Commission
Randall Hutchinson, President
Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South
Dama Brown, Director, Southwest Region, Federal Trade Commission
Combatting Unlawful Robocallers
Charles Harder, Deputy Attorney General for Public Protection
Office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Michelle Hinkl, No-Call Director, Consumer Protection Section
Office of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt
Lois Greisman, Associate Director, Division of Marketing Practices
Federal Trade Commission
Brad Schuelke, Special Litigation Counsel, Consumer Protection Division
Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Daniel Stepanicich, Attorney Advisor
Federal Communications Commission
David McCoy, Assistant Attorney General, Public Protection Department of the Office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Working Together Effectively with Our Partners
Michael Herndon, Deputy Assistant Director of the Office for Older Americans
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Charles O. Lee, Director
Mississippi Center for Justice
Susan Link, U.S. Postal Inspector
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
Heather Staggs, Attorney
West Tennessee Legal Service
Abigail M. Stempson, Director, National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI) Center for Consumer Protection
National Association of Attorneys General
Jim Elliott, Assistant Director, Southwest Region, Federal Trade Commission
Tuesday, March 10, 2020–Closed Session (Law Enforcement Only)
Registration and Check-in
New Tools and Techniques for Investigations
Tim Flowers, Trial Attorney
Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section U.S. Department of Justice
Michael O’Leary, Systems Analyst, Consumer Protection Division
Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Kelle Slaughter, Trade Investigator
Federal Trade Commission
Marcus Vance, Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigations, Memphis Field Office
Brad Schuelke, Special Litigation Counsel, Consumer Protection Division, Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Criminally Prosecuting Consumer Protection Cases
Angela Marsee, District Attorney
Second Judicial District of Oklahoma
Valerie Verduce, Senior Counsel, Southeast Region
Federal Trade Commission
Stacy Morey, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Protection Unit, Office of Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter
Privacy and Data Security Issues
Esther Chavez, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Mark Eichorn, Assistant Director, Division of Privacy & Identity Protection
Federal Trade Commission
Nicholas P. Heesters, Jr., Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights
M. Hasan Aijaz, Staff Attorney, Southwest Region, Federal Trade Commission
Automobile Dealer Issues Including Titles, Financing, and Advertising
Travis Brown, Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division
Office of Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, III
David McCoy, Assistant Attorney General, Public Protection Department
Office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Nick Singhvi, Assistant Director, Division of Financial Practices
Federal Trade Commission
Jeff Hill, Deputy Attorney General, Consumer Protection & Advocate Division, Office of Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, III
Andrew Smith, Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau
Federal Trade Commission
Andrew Smith is Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. He came to the FTC from the law firm of Covington & Burling, where he co-chaired the financial services practice group. Earlier in his career, Mr. Smith was a staff attorney at the FTC, where he led the agency’s efforts to make several rules under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Mr. Smith has written extensively on consumer protection and financial services issues, served as the Chair of the American Bar Association's Consumer Financial Services Committee, and is a Fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Williams College, and a J.D. from William & Mary Law School, where he served as Professional Articles Editor of the William & Mary Law Review.
Honorable Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter
State of Tennessee
Honorable Herbert H. Slatery, III, was sworn in as the Attorney General and Reporter for the State of Tennessee on October 1, 2014. He was appointed by the Supreme Court to serve an eight-year term.
Prior to his appointment, General Slatery served as counsel to Governor Bill Haslam from 2011-2014. In addition to providing legal advice to the Governor, he oversaw the process for judicial appointments, coordinated the legal affairs of the executive branch for the Governor, assisted in the development and implementation of legislation, and reviewed requests for executive clemency and extradition.
Before joining the Haslam Administration, General Slatery was in private practice at the law firm of Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, P.C., where he served as President from 1998-2007 and as Chairman from 2008 through January 2011. He practiced in the areas of finance, corporate governance, capital formation, real estate, and acquisitions and sales of businesses.
General Slatery is a Knoxville native. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and law degree from the University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Cary, have two children, Frances and Harrison, who live in Knoxville.
M. Hasan Aijaz has been an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission’s Southwest Regional Office in Dallas, Texas, since October 2016. Before joining the FTC, Hasan spent four years at the Social Security Administration's Dallas Regional Office and two years at the Center for Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security at George Mason University. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and a graduate and law degree from George Mason University.
Carroll L. André, IIII, is the Principal Deputy Criminal Chief and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, where he has been employed since 1987. Mr. Andre has led criminal prosecutions of financial institution fraud and white collar crimes, including mail, wire, and mortgage loan fraud. He serves as both the Financial Institution Fraud Coordinator and Bankruptcy Fraud Coordinator and has served on the Western District of Tennessee Mortgage Fraud Task Force. He provides advice and counsel to various client agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service and United States Secret Service. Mr. Andre is a member of the Tennessee Bar and graduated from the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
Dama J. Brown is the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Southwest Regional Office, which covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. As Regional Director, Ms. Brown oversees litigation involving unfair or deceptive acts or practices or rule violations. She has supervised matters including automobile and home financing, consumer credit, debt collection, mobile technologies, and telemarketing. She also speaks to business, industry, media, and consumer groups about consumer protection issues and regulation. Prior to becoming Regional Director, Ms. Brown was a staff attorney with the FTC in Atlanta and she spent ten years in private practice in metro Detroit. She is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School and Eastern Michigan University.
Travis Brown is an Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division of the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. Travis enforces Tennessee’s consumer protection and unauthorized practice of law statues. Travis received his J.D. from Belmont University College of Law and served as an ABA Janet D. Steiger Fellow in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office in 2014. He joined the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office in 2015. Travis, his wife, and their two daughters live in Nashville.
Anna Burns is the Regional Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Southeast Region, which covers Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. While at the FTC, Ms. Burns has supervised and litigated consumer protection cases against companies and individuals involved in unfair or deceptive acts or practices or rule violations, including actions brought against payment processors, a prepaid mobile provider, home and auto loan modification schemes, debt collectors, and tech support schemes. Ms. Burns was lead counsel in the Commission’s 2016 case against Laptop & Desktop Repair, LLC, d/b/a/ Cash for iPhones, an electronics buyback scheme, that resulted in a more than $42 million judgment against the company. Prior to joining the FTC, Ms. Burns was in private practice in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Ms. Burns received both her undergraduate and law degree from Emory University.
Esther Chavez currently serves as Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, where her work encompasses a broad range of consumer protection concerns with a focus on civil enforcement cases relating to privacy and data security.
Ms. Chavez’ professional activities include service as a member and Chair of the Texas State Bar’s Consumer & Commercial Law Council and as Course Director of the State Bar’s annual Advanced Consumer & Commercial Law CLE.
Ms. Chavez is a frequent speaker at state and national continuing legal education seminars on a variety of privacy and consumer protection topics and most recently has been a presenter at the Practising Law Institute’s 2019 Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law, the 23rd Annual Health Care Compliance Institute CLE and the National Association of Attorneys’ General Consumer Protection Fall 2018 Seminar.
LaShaunné David serves as Director of VA Privacy Service where she leads department-wide efforts to embed privacy considerations in VA policy, program planning, operations and stakeholder communication. She advises on matters having privacy impact. She also oversees, directs, and establishes short and long-term goals for VA’s Privacy Program. As a result, she effectively safeguards the personal information of Veterans, VA employees, and other stakeholders.
Mark Eichorn is an Assistant Director in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection (DPIP), where he supervises privacy and data security matters. He joined DPIP in 2009 from FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz’s office, where he served as an attorney advisor for Chairman (and previously Commissioner) Leibowitz on consumer protection issues. Upon joining the Commission in 1998, Mark worked for many years as an attorney in the Division of Advertising Practices and served a six-month stint in 2003 as an attorney advisor to FTC Commissioner Thomas Leary. Mark went to law school at the University of Virginia.
Jim Elliott has been an attorney in the Federal Trade Commission’s Southwest Regional office since 1988 and has been the Assistant Regional Director since 2013. Jim supervises litigation and outreach on a number of consumer protection issues, including data security and privacy, mobile advertising, identity theft, loan modification, and fraud targeting various segments of the public. Before joining the FTC, Jim was in private practice for eight years, specializing in plaintiffs’ antitrust litigation. Jim received a J.D. from Drake University Law School, Des Moines, IA, and a B.A. from Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY.
Tim Flowers is a Trial Attorney in the Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section of the United States Department of Justice. At CCIPS, Tim’s practice focuses mainly on litigating cases involving largescale fraudulent enterprises, tech-support fraud, trade-secret theft, unauthorized computer intrusions, and criminal trademark infringement. He also conducts outreach and speaks at conferences as part of CCIPS’ Cybersecurity Unit and international team. While at CCIPS, Tim has tried cases in federal district court, written articles on trade-secret theft and emerging IP issues, and has traveled around the globe working with victims and advancing the Department’s mission.
Before joining CCIPS, Tim clerked for the Honorable Samuel H. “Hardy” Mays, Jr. on the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee and for the Honorable Ronald Lee Gilman on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Both clerkships were in Memphis, where Tim—before becoming a lawyer—was an Algebra teacher.
Lois C. Greisman heads the Division of Marketing Practices in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Under Ms. Greisman’s management, Marketing Practices leads the FTC’s law enforcement initiatives tackling telemarketing fraud (including Do Not Call/Robocall enforcement), fraudulent business and investment opportunity schemes (including multilevel marketing), mail fraud (including sweepstakes and lotteries), illegal spam, and Internet frauds (including technical support scams). Ms. Greisman also directs the FTC’s work to curb fraud in connection with different payment systems. Since 2018, Ms. Greisman has served as the FTC’s Elder Justice Coordinator.
Before joining Marketing Practices, Ms. Greisman headed the Division of Planning and Information, where she managed the FTC’s Identity Theft Program, the Consumer Response Center, and also supervised implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry. Previously, Ms. Greisman served as Chief of Staff to FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris. She also served as Attorney Advisor to Chairman Robert Pitofsky and Chairman Janet D. Steiger. Ms. Greisman worked in private practice in Washington, D.C. before joining the FTC. Ms. Greisman received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University, and her law degree from George Washington University.
Chuck Harder presently serves as Deputy Attorney General for Public Protection for the Office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Public Protection consists of four divisions: Consumer Protection, which fights deceptive trade practices, mediates disputes between consumers and businesses, and oversees charities registration; Consumer Utilities Rate Advocacy, which is the voice of consumers as it relates to public utilities; Environmental, which represents the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Pollution, Control & Ecology Commission and challenges rules that adversely affect the State; and Tobacco, which administers the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.
Mr. Harder has 28 years of experience in the energy industry. He previously served as Assistant Attorney General representing the interests of utility ratepayers in matters before the Arkansas Public Service Commission, the Arkansas General Assembly and Federal agencies. Before joining the Office of Attorney General, he served as the Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs for SourceGas LLC., and he has held legal and regulatory leadership positions at CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Mr. Harder currently serves on the advisory boards of the New Mexico State University Center for Public Utilities and the Financial Research Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business from Hendrix College in Conway and a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. He is both an attorney and a certified public accountant (inactive).
Amy Haywood is the Chief Counsel of the Consumer Protection Section at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. Amy oversees more than 50 attorneys, investigators, consumer advocates, and other staff whose mission is to protect Missouri consumers. Each month, the Section obtains mediation resolutions, judgments, and settlements ranging from hundreds of dollars to millions of dollars for the people of Missouri. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Amy clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, served as a Counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and practiced civil litigation at law firms in D.C. and Chicago. Amy received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri.
Nicholas Heesters is a certified information privacy professional with over 30 years of experience supporting technology and information security across many diverse industries. He earned his Master of Engineering in Computer and Software Engineering from Widener University and Juris Doctor from the Widener University School of Law. Currently, Mr. Heesters serves as the Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity for the United States Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights supporting HIPAA compliance, enforcement, and policy initiatives.
Michael Herndon joined the CFPB in January 2017 as Deputy Assistant Director for the Office for Older Americans. He brings to this position over 20 years’ experience in personal finance issues, public policy, and consumer outreach. Prior to CFPB, he worked at AARP on two different occasions, with his most recent role being the Vice President of Financial Resilience Programs. His experience also includes serving as Consumer Outreach Officer for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Director of Public Affairs for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, and as Manager of Government Relations for the International Association for Financial Planning. Mr. Herndon earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University where he received the Dan Sweat Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
Jeff Hill is Deputy Attorney General with the Tennessee Attorney General’s office. Jeff is the Deputy of the Consumer Protection and Advocate Division, which is responsible for consumer protection, antitrust, and the unauthorized practice of law enforcement for the state. Jeff received his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law. He joined the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office in 1994.
Michelle Hinkl is the No-Call Director in the Consumer Protection Section at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. She oversees a staff of five, including investigators and hotline operators, dedicated to the investigation of individuals and companies who are engaged in or assist illegal telemarketing. In addition to telemarketing cases, Michelle litigates civil and criminal matters involving unlawful and deceptive business practices. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Michelle worked in private practice at an insurance defense firm and was a public defender where she represented indigent defendants charged with crimes ranging from simple misdemeanors to serious felonies, including murder. Michelle received her law degree from Saint Louis University and her undergraduate degree from Missouri State University.
Randy Hutchinson is the President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South since 2002. The BBB of the Mid-South serves 28 counties in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Prior to joining the BBB, Mr. Hutchinson was a banker for 25 years, managing credit card and consumer lending programs for banks in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Tennessee. He has a B.A. from Western Maryland College and an M.B.A. from Wilmington College.
Todd M. Kossow is the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Midwest Region in Chicago, which is responsible for 11 midwestern states. Todd joined the FTC in 1998 and served as the Midwest Region’s Assistant Director from May 2008 to January 2016, when he became the office’s Director. During his tenure, Todd has litigated and supervised consumer protection cases in federal district court against companies and individuals involved in the deceptive marketing and sale of a variety of products and services, including money transfer services, tax relief services, mortgage relief services, and buyer’s and travel club memberships. Before joining the FTC, Todd clerked for Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner on the federal district court in Chicago and then on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Todd graduated with honors from Northwestern University School of Law and from Wittenberg University.
Jennifer Leach heads up the Division of Consumer and Business Education (DCBE) in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Under Ms. Leach’s management, DCBE leads the agency’s education initiatives to give people the tools they need to make informed decisions, and to give businesses the tools they need to comply with the law. DCBE creates free, actionable, plain language information online, in print, and on video—often targeted to particular audiences like older adults, servicemembers, small businesses, or emerging readers. Before joining the FTC, Ms. Leach worked on AARP’s Consumer Protection Team, and while at the World Bank, she handled social development projects in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. She holds an M.A. from the University of Wyoming and a B.A. from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.
Charles O. Lee directs the Consumer Protection Division of the Mississippi Center for Justice, where his work focuses on economic justice through advocacy and litigation on behalf of Mississippi consumers. Charles and his division work to address economic justice issues that disproportionately impact low to moderate income communities and communities of color, such as payday lending and student loan debt. He and his team developed the Justice Court Navigator Project to assist non-represented litigants in Justice Courts in Mississippi; assisted the AARP Foundation in unveiling My Savings Jar, to assist working adults develop good savings habits; and helped hundreds of homeowners in every corner of the state with foreclosure prevention efforts. He conducts financial literacy outreach and education throughout the state of Mississippi and, for the past three years, he has lobbied the Mississippi Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. for more consumer protections for Mississippians.
Charles is also the current Board President for Mississippi United to End Homelessness, serves on the Board of Directors for MS Community Financial Access Coalition, and works on various financial empowerment initiatives with various organizations and coalitions. He is a frequent lecturer to groups large and small on issues related to financial literacy, financial inclusion, financial wellness and financial empowerment. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Rust College and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Susan Link has been a United States Postal Inspector for over 14 years. She has been assigned to the Charlotte and Atlanta Divisions, all while being based in the Memphis Domicile. Susan has been assigned and specializes in Mail Fraud investigations. She has been involved in several high profile investigations, including the investigation of Dr. Larry Bates and his family, who defrauded victims of over $23 million.
Susan received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1994. Prior to joining the U.S. Inspection Service, she worked as a police officer at the Lincoln Police Department for over ten years. Susan also served in both the Nebraska Air National Guard and the Tennessee Air National Guard, retiring with 24 years of service.
Angela Marsee was sworn in as District Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Oklahoma on January 5, 2015. Prior to becoming the elected district attorney, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in that district since 2007. As an Assistant, her responsibilities included the prosecution of homicides and other violent felony crimes, primarily crimes against women and children, in multiple counties within the district.
After graduation from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Journalism and Broadcasting, she obtained her J.D. with Distinction from the University of Oklahoma in 1997. While still in law school, Angela began interning in the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office (Seventh Judicial District) where she later became an Assistant District Attorney. During her tenure in Oklahoma County, she was assigned to the Juvenile Division; Criminal Division, including white collar crimes and general felonies; and later transferring to the Domestic Violence and Special Victim’s Units; and Civil Division.
Angela is active with the Custer/Washita Counties Child Protection Team and Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team. She is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Oklahoma, Class XXVII, the 2012 recipient of the Julia Levy Youth Advocate Award, and a 2009 graduate of Leadership Weatherford. In 2014, Angela received the Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in Service to Victims and Survivors of Violence Against Women, the Award for Excellence in Action Against Domestic Violence, the“Mitch Sperry Award for Outstanding Prosecutor and was selected as one of The Journal Record’s Fifty Making a Difference. She currently serves as the President-Elect of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council and District Attorneys Association and is the association’s gubernatorial appointment to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.
Maria Mayo is an Assistant Director in the FTC’s Division of Consumer Response and Operations. Ms. Mayo oversees the daily operations of the Consumer Sentinel Network, which includes managing the complaint intake process to capture consumer reports about fraud, identity theft, unwanted calls, and other consumer protection problems, and making sure that the thousands of law enforcement Sentinel members across the country can access those complaints through a suite of sophisticated tools. Since she began at the FTC in 2001, Maria has developed a wide breadth of experience implementing processes to improve complaint capture and assistance to consumers (such as the award winning IdentityTheft.gov site), as well as developing enhancements to law enforcement tools in the Sentinel database.
Timothy S. McCole joined the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office in 1998 as a Staff Attorney in the Division of Enforcement. From 2001 to 2008, he served as a Branch Chief, supervising investigations into a wide variety of securities-related misconduct, including offering fraud, market manipulation, accounting fraud, insider trading, broker-dealer fraud, investment-adviser fraud, options backdating, affinity and elder fraud, and municipal-bond fraud. From 2008 to 2018, Mr. McCole served as a Trial Attorney in the SEC’s Trial Unit, litigating numerous cases on behalf of the SEC in U.S. district courts and in administrative proceedings. Since 2018, he has served as an Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement, overseeing enforcement investigations in the Fort Worth Regional Office.
David McCoy has been an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General since January 2015. He is a consumer protection attorney in the Public Protection Department. He is also active on the office’s legislative team and has participated in drafting several bills and guiding them through the legislative process, notably including new anti-spoofing laws and the Arkansas New Farm Machinery Quality Assurance Act (a.k.a., farm machinery lemon law).
Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, Mr. McCoy served as an administrative law judge for the Arkansas Department of Human Services and had a private practice that focused on general civil litigation. Mr. McCoy received a bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University in 1988 and a master’s degree in 1991 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received a Juris Doctor degree in 2002 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law.
Ann Mikkelsen is an Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division of the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. She works on consumer education and issues involving older adults, in addition to a variety of cases in areas ranging from data privacy to government imposters to for-profit schools.
Elizabeth A. Moran accepted an appointment as Deputy Director of the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC) in January 2019. As a disability rights advocate and litigation attorney, founder and director of Midwest Advocacy for Disability Rights (MADR), adjunct professor at UMKC's School of law and Propel program, sibling of an adult with I/DD, and former Public Policy Coordinator for the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities, she has been dedicated to helping individuals with I/DD, their families, and their supports to navigate the legal, educational, and support services systems for nearly 30 years. Elizabeth also serves as Chair of the MO State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, is licensed in both MO (2007) and KS (2008), serves on the Board of Directors for the Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County, MO (eitas), and is a strong supporter of supported decision-making, community inclusion, and an enthusiast of creative problem solving. She is most passionate about providing resources, support, and disability rights advocacy on behalf of individuals with IDD and their families as they seek information and understanding of the options and alternatives available to them as they pursue the most appropriate means of the long-term supports necessary for individuals to live a truly integrated life...the good life.
Stacy Morey is the Chief of the Consumer Protection Unit for the State of Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General, which oversees the enforcement and prosecution of violations of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act. Prior to joining the office in 2018, she served as Chief Legal Counsel for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and an Assistant District Attorney in Oklahoma County where her practice focused on gang prosecution and violent crimes. Immediately preceding her appointment to the Office of the Attorney General, she was managing partner in private practice for a law firm that concentrated on the family law needs of women and children. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of consumer protection issues, including scams targeting senior citizens, charity scams and donor education, and ethics and technology. Her article, “Prosecution of Consumer Scams and Fraud,” was published in the nationally distributed NAGTRI Center for Consumer Protection newsletter. Stacy holds a Juris Doctorate and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Mike O’Leary is a Systems Analyst in the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. He has served in that role since March of 2015. While working for the State of Texas, he has assisted in a variety of matters with a primary focus on investigations involving data breaches, data privacy, do not call violations, mobile application, tech support scams, and other online fraud investigations. He also assists the Consumer Protection Division’s investigators in cases needing advanced technical knowledge or data analysis. Prior to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Mike managed a team that developed and maintained mobile apps and mobile websites for big box retailers. Before that, Mike was a computer engineer who was responsible for the computer configuration and design used in a series of slot machines.
Stacie Price, the Access Attorney at Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT), received her B.A. in Criminal Justice from Marshall University in 2005, and her J.D. from the West Virginia University College of Law in 2008. Stacie has worked extensively in advocating for and enforcing the rights of individuals to be free from discrimination based on disability, and for individuals with disabilities to have equal access to goods and services in the community. She has represented clients in litigation, including class action litigation, based on violations of the ADA and other federal anti-discrimination laws. Stacie has worked on behalf of clients with disabilities at DRT since 2012 and is the recipient of DRT’s Freedom Award (2014).
Olha Rybakoff has been practicing law for 36 years. She currently serves as a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Public Protection Division, handling consumer protection enforcement cases including timeshare and telemarketing fraud, government imposter fraud, opioids, unlawful credit repair, debt relief services, among others. Prior to joining the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office in 2005, she served as Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Consumer Fraud Division in the Delaware Department of Justice from 1997–2005 where she handled civil and criminal consumer protection and fraud cases. Before beginning her public service career, she worked for an intellectual property law firm in Wilmington, Delaware from 1984 to 1997, handling patent, commercial and general litigation matters.
C. Brad Schuelke is a Special Litigation Counsel in the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. He has served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division since November 1998. He received his Juris Doctorate degree, with honors, from the University of Texas in 1998 and he was admitted to the bar in Texas that same year. He is also a graduate of the University of Texas Honors Business Program, receiving his B.B.A. degree, with honors, in 1995.
As an assistant attorney general, Mr. Schuelke has represented the State of Texas in investigations and lawsuits regarding a variety of subject matters. Since 2005, he has had a particular focus in the area of telecommunications, privacy, and Internet law, including security breaches, spamming, cramming, spyware, unsolicited facsimile advertising, deceptive telemarketing, and violations of state and federal do not call statutes.
Nick Singhvi is an Assistant Director in the Division of Financial Practices in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, where his responsibilities include law enforcement in the Auto and FinTech industries. Before joining the FTC in August 2011, Nick worked for 12 years at two law firms in New York and Washington. He has also taught unfair trade practices law as an adjunct professor at George Mason University.
Kelle Slaughter is a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Investigator. Prior to joining the FTC, Kelle served as the Director of Investigations at the Better Business Bureau Serving North Central Texas and was an Investigator with the Texas Office of Attorney General Consumer Protection Division. During her almost 20 year investigative career, Kelle has initiated and conducted hundreds of consumer protection investigations, supported numerous enforcement actions, and imparted presentations to consumers, businesses, and law enforcement. Kelle holds Masters Degrees in both Criminal Justice & Conflict Resolution and in Higher Education from Dallas Baptist University.
Heather Staggs received her bachelor’s degree from University of Memphis in 2012 and her J.D. from Villanova School of Law in 2015. She has been an attorney with West Tennessee Legal Services for 3 years. She specializes in Elder Law, focusing on elder abuse and financial exploitation. She has attended numerous trainings including Equal Justice University, National Aging and Law Conference and the Tennessee Elder Justice Conference. She gives presentations regarding prevention and remedies to numerous senior centers across West Tennessee.
Abigail Stempson is the director of the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute’s (NAGTRI) Center for Consumer Protection at the National Association of Attorneys General. The Center is the nation’s only entity solely dedicated to providing training, research, expertise, and other resources to the staff of attorneys general offices and other government attorneys and staff committed to protecting the public against consumer fraud and abuse. She also serves as the staff liaison to the following NAAG committees: Consumer Protection; Charities; Financial Services Consumer Protection Enforcement, Education and Training Fund; Volkswagen Settlement Fund; and Charities Enforcement Training Fund.
Prior to coming to NAAG in 2017, Abigail was the chief of the Consumer Protection Bureau in the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and an assistant attorney general, where she focused on consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices, nonprofit organizations, charitable trusts, tobacco enforcement, and antitrust matters. She led the state’s White Collar Fraud Task Force, was a member of the Suspicious Activity Report state review team, and was a board member of the National Association of State Charities Officials. She also served as an instructor for NAGTRI. Abigail began her legal career in private practice focusing on securities and taxation. She has also spent part of her career in the Nebraska Department of Revenue. In addition, Abigail served as an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska College of Business (Lincoln) from 2004-2017, has taught at higher learning institutions since 2002, and has been nominated for multiple teaching awards.
Abigail obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2001 and a Juris Doctorate with an emphasis in business from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2004. She is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association and is a native of Tecumseh, Neb. Abigail is married with three children, and enjoys golfing, walking, music, and spending time with family and friends.
Daniel Stepanicich is an Attorney Advisor at the Federal Communications Commission and is responsible for enforcing the TCPA and Truth in Caller ID Act in addition to other telephone (landline and wireless) consumer issues. Prior to being Attorney Advisor, Mr. Stephanicich was an Honors Attorney at the FCC, where he worked complex litigation involving violations of the Truth in Caller ID Act (illegal spoofing), the TCPA, and Federal wire fraud statute. He obtained his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkley.
L. Christopher Styron serves as Section Chief of the Consumer Protection Section of the Louisiana Department of Justice, where he leads a team of attorneys and other professionals responsible for protecting consumers and businesses from unlawful methods of competition and unfair practices. As an Assistant Attorney General for over a decade, he has coordinated and managed hundreds of investigations of persons and businesses for suspected violations of civil unfair trade practices and consumer protection laws. He has successfully brought numerous enforcement actions on behalf of Louisiana, securing important injunctive and monetary relief for consumers and the state. He received his law degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2006 and his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University in 2002.
Between 2002 and 2016, Ms. Vaca litigated or supervised litigation against companies and individuals the FTC charged with engaging in fraudulent or deceptive practices. Ms. Vaca began her career by clerking for the Honorable John F. Grady in the Northern District of Illinois, and later, by serving as an Equal Justice Fellow at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. She is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law (cum laude, Order of the Coif) and the University of Virginia.
Special Agent (SA) Marcus Vance received his appointment as a Special Agent in 2014 and following completion of training was assigned to the Memphis Field Office. While serving in Memphis, SA Vance primarily worked White Collar matters. SA Vance also served as a member of the FBI Evidence Response Team.
SA Vance is a native of Columbus, Ohio and a 2008 graduate of The Ohio State University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Finance. He later received a Master of Business Administration Degree from Ashland University. Prior to joining the FBI, SA Vance worked for the Department of Defense.
Valerie M. Verduce, Senior Counsel with the Federal Trade Commission, carries out the FTC’s consumer protection mission of safeguarding consumers by seeking to eliminate fraud, deception and unfair practices in the marketplace. Within the Southeast Region, she supports the FTC’s mission as lead trial counsel in federal court cases that involve sophisticated consumer frauds. Valerie also works on nationwide initiatives designed to protect consumers from harm, including elder fraud, refund crime, identity theft, robocall, bogus charity, sweepstake and lottery, and service member and veteran initiatives. In addition, Valerie furthers the criminal prosecution of consumer frauds by facilitating and coordinating partnerships with criminal law enforcement in parallel civil-criminal proceedings, and by training criminal law enforcers to use existing FTC resources to build strong criminal consumer fraud cases.
Valerie currently utilizes these skills and resources to promote consumer protection as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and as a member of the Transnational Elder Fraud Task Force.