Bryan Cohen Jun. 25, 2013, 7:40pm

TOPEKA, Kan. (Legal Newsline) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced on Monday that his Consumer Protection Division recovered more money for Kansans in 2012 than ever before in the history of the state.

Schmidt's office recovered more than $49 million in consumer restitution, penalties and fees last year. The amount dwarfed the previous year's record of $17.3 million.

"We have made consumer protection one of the top priorities for our office," Schmidt said. "We have slowly built capacity and strengthened our enforcement work against scam artists and others who illegally get Kansas consumers' money. We have assembled a dedicated team of consumer specialists who are committed to helping Kansans. That focus is paying off for Kansas."

Schmidt himself is a former assistant attorney general for consumer protection, a position he held during the administration of Carla Stovall, the former attorney general of Kansas. Schmidt currently services as the national co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General's Consumer Protection Committee.

Schmidt said that he plans to keep strengthening his office's consumer protection work to help Kansans. He said that while he is happy that the state was able to make large financial recoveries last year, the key focus of the Consumer Protection Division must be providing assistance to Kansans who lost money to illegal business practices, ripoffs and scams.

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