Consumer Protection

 

As Maryland’s chief regulator of alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel, Peter is working to make our state safer, healthier, and cleaner.  He’s protecting consumers with aggressive oversight, cracking down on the illegal trade and sale of contraband items. He’s working alongside industry leaders to adopt safe practices and responsible policies that encourage economic activity while ensuring the well-being of all Marylanders.

 

His field enforcement agents work hard every day to protect Maryland consumers from products that violate state regulations and health laws. In FY 2016 alone, his office confiscated over 433,000 packs of cigarettes that were being sold illegally and 352 containers of beer that failed to pass our consumer laws. His agents also conducted more than 3,700 motor fuel inspections, to ensure that the fuels that consumers are pumping into their vehicles are complying with industry standards.

 

Peter has also been a champion on protecting Maryland taxpayers from the growing thread of tax fraud and identity theft. His office is a national leader in going after fraudsters and unscrupulous tax preparers who prey on innocent and hardworking Marylanders, and he remains committed to working with partners in the public and private sectors to tackle this serious problem. Thanks to unprecedented investments in technology and human capital, Peter’s team has detected and blocked more than 76,000 fraudulent returns worth more than $174 million since he took office in 2007.

 

But Peter knows that more needs to be done to keep up with the rapidly-changing fraud schemes, which is why his agency remains aggressive in combatting financial fraud and identity theft. His agency adopted a new, state-of-the-art fraud detection model that was recognized by Drexel University, CIO.com, and StateScoop for its innovative approach and effectiveness. Additionally, he hosted the first-ever Taxpayer Security Summit in Baltimore earlier this year, and convened stakeholders from the government, private, and public sectors to collaborate and share strategies to protect innocent taxpayers. Once again, Peter is urging the legislature to adopt Taxpayer Protection Act, a legislation under consideration during the 2017 General Assembly session. The bill would give his office greater tools to more effectively combat these challenges. He continues to work with legislators to ensure the passage of this important bill, and to finding innovative solutions to better protect taxpayers.

B Y  A U T H O R I T Y :  F R I E N D S   O F   P E T E R   F R A N C H O T   |   T O M   G E N T I L E ,   T R E A S U R E R