Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

1 hour ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Editor's note: This report contains accounts of rape, violence and other disturbing events.

Sex trafficking wasn't a major concern in the early 1980s, when Beth Jacobs was a teenager. If you were a prostitute, the thinking went, it was your choice.

Jacobs thought that too, right up until she came to, on the lot of a dark truck stop one night. She says she had asked a friendly-seeming man for a ride home that afternoon.

The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Debt Settlement Firm Accused Of Defrauding Thousands

May 8, 2013
Originally published on May 9, 2013 11:43 am



A New York-based debt settlement agency has been charged with fraud. Yesterday, the company's owner and three employees were arrested. Federal prosecutors say the company cheated already cash-strapped customers out of millions.

As NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports, this case is notable for another reason: it's the first criminal case based on work by the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - an agency created under the law known as the Dodd-Frank Act.

DAN BOBKOFF, BYLINE: A company called Mission Settlement Agency told consumers it could get rid of their debts. Instead, authorities say it just took their money. The complaint says Mission lied about its fees and results. And, in many cases, it took millions from consumers and never paid anything to their creditors. At least 1,200 people were harmed.

Richard Cordray heads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which first uncovered the alleged fraud.

RICHARD CORDRAY: We find that in this, as in many markets, if you're trying to sell a product or service that has little or no value, the only way to do it successfully is by lying about it or hiding the truth from consumers who otherwise would not purchase it.

BOBKOFF: For the new and still-controversial CFPB, this is one way it's now doing business: actively investigating companies and referring what it considers criminal acts over to the Department of Justice. This case is the first to stem from the CFPB's work, and at a Tuesday press conference announcing the charges, Cordray suggested more cases like this are coming.

CORDRAY: We're signaling today that the federal prosecutors here and across the country are our partners. We will be looking for more occasions to coordinate and collaborate with them.

BOBKOFF: With this week's charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office is pursuing a criminal case, while the CFPB filed its own civil action.

Dan Bobkoff, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.