AG announces $8M settlement with Wawa following security breech

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced an $8 million agreement with Wawa on Tuesday to resolve a December 2019 data breach that compromised approximately 9.1 million payment cards in Pennsylvania and 34 million used across all Wawa stores.

The commonwealth will collect $2,525,732 through this settlement, the third largest attorneys general credit card breech settlement, after Target and Home Depot.

Shapiro, along with acting New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, led a coalition of seven AGs in the investigation.

Wawa notified Shapiro’s office after the company experienced the breech. The investigation concluded that Wawa failed to employ reasonable security measures, allowing hackers to gain access to its network and deploy malware on the company’s payment processing servers at its stores.

The malware allowed the hackers to obtain the payment card information of Wawa customers between April 18, 2019, and Dec. 12, 2019.

“Today’s settlement will help protect Pennsylvanians’ personal information going forward and will hold Wawa accountable for the data breach that occurred on their watch,” Shapiro said in a release. “Thanks to this work, Wawa will adopt new corporate policies to deter data breaches in the future. Every corporation that does business in Pennsylvania needs to stay alert and protect their customers’ personal data or they will have to answer to my office.”

Specific information security provisions agreed to in the settlement include:

· Maintaining a comprehensive information security program designed to protect consumers’ sensitive personal information;

· Providing resources necessary to fully implement the company’s information security program;

· Providing appropriate security awareness and privacy training to personnel responsible for implementation and oversight of the information security program;

· Employing specific security safeguards with respect to logging and monitoring, access controls, file integrity monitoring, firewalls, encryption, comprehensive risk assessments, penetration testing, intrusion detection and vendor account management.

Wawa will also undergo a post-settlement information security assessment.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Dauphin County Bar Association names new 2022 board president 

The Dauphin County Bar Association has appointed Scott Cooper as board president for 2022. 

Cooper, a partner of personal injury law firm, Schmidt Kramer P.C., has worked at the firm for over 29 years. He replaces the Dauphin County Bar Association’s 2021 board president Paula McDermott. 

Cooper specializes in personal injury law in addition to motor vehicle accident and insurance cases. He has held an adjunct professor position at Widener University School of Law since 2015 and has been a member of the school’s Board of Advisors since 2016. 

Cooper has been named by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for the past 11 years, has consistently earned the title of Top 100 lawyers in Philadelphia and the commonwealth and was named a Top Lawyer by the Central Penn Business Journal in 2014 and 2015. 

Each president of the bar association serves a one-year term. The rest of the association’s 2022 executive committee includes:
      Kimberly Selemba, president-elect (senior counsel; Saxton and Stump) 

  • Jonathan Koltash, vice president (chief counsel; Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel)
  • Fawn Kehler, secretary (children and youth assistant solicitor; The Law Offices of Fawn E. Kehler)
  • Thomas Gacki, treasurer (real estate, business and estate planning; Law Office of Thomas P. Gacki)

The following directors were selected to serve a two-year term on the board: 

  • Anthony Cox (Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.)
  • Jason Giurintano (Office of Hearing Examiners)
  • Sarah Hyser-Staub (McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC)
  • Grant Malleus (Dauphin County Public Defender’s Office)


McNees Wallace & Nurick partners with Boyer & Ritter to open new company 

Law firm McNees Wallace & Nurick and CPA firm Boyer & Ritter launched a new company as part of a joint venture that the two firms say will provide comprehensive services for companies looking to buy or sell auto dealerships. 

Keystone Advisors officially launched on Tuesday at its new headquarters at 211 House Ave., Suite 101 in Camp Hill. The company offers the joint expertise of McNees’ attorneys and Boyer & Ritter’s CPA’s, the two companies wrote in a press release this week. 

“For decades, auto dealerships have turned to McNees for trusted legal counsel related to buying, selling or expanding their businesses,” said Brian Jackson, McNees chair. “Now, by partnering with Boyer & Ritter, we can offer clients a dedicated legal and accounting team to meet their needs through Keystone Advisors.” 

McNees employs more than 130 attorneys across offices in Harrisburg, Devon, Lancaster York, State College and Scranton, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Frederick, Md.; and Washington, D.C. 

Boyer & Ritter provides accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services from its offices in Camp Hill, Carlisle, Chambersburg and State College. 

“Buying or selling a business can be a taxing decision in more ways than one,” said Bob Murphy, CEO of Boyer & Ritter, who also is a senior member of the firm’s Dealership Services Group. “With the combined power of McNees’ legal counsel and our accounting and tax advice, dealerships know they’re not in this alone.” 

State College contractor pleads no contest to wage theft, ordered to pay $20 million in restitution 

A State College-based contractor embroiled in one of the largest prevailing wage criminal cases on record, plead no contest to theft and will be paying over $20 million in stolen wages to over a thousand Pennsylvania workers.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc., one of the largest contractors to complete projects for the state, plead to four felony counts of stealing wages from workers.

From 2003 through 2018, Hawbaker received an estimated $1.7 billion in contracts from the state, Shapiro’s office wrote in a press release.

The contractor admitted in the plea that during those years it took money intended for prevailing wage workers’ retirement funds to contribute to retirement accounts for all Hawbaker employees.

Hawbaker was also charged with stealing funds intended for prevailing wage workers’ health and welfare benefits, using those funds to subsidize the cost of its self-funded health insurance plan for all employees.

The charges were announced in April and came after a three-year investigation into the company’s practices. Investigators said the company disguised the theft for decades by inflating its benefit spending records.

In a written statement to the Central Penn Business Journal, Hawbaker said that it believes it followed all requirements regarding fringe benefits and that the practices challenged by the Office of Attorney General were based on advice provided by the company’s former attorneys.

“Hawbaker has always intended to properly pay all of its employees. Through the years, both state and federal regulators extensively reviewed our Prevailing Wage Act and Davis Bacon Act practices on jobs and did not find any wrongdoing,” the company wrote. “This led us to believe we were properly following all laws, and we did not plead guilty. We fully cooperated in this process and proactively addressed concerns raised by the attorney general’s office. As stated by the attorney general, we are making past and present employees whole.

Hawbaker pleaded no contest to four felony counts of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds Received. The company was sentenced to five years’ probation and the payment of more than $20 million in restitution to 1,267 affected workers.

As a condition of its probation, Hawbaker will pay for a corporate monitor to oversee its compliance with all state and federal prevailing wage laws and regulations.

“A month ago I met with some of the men and women who had their wages and retirements stolen by Hawbaker — and I told them that we will do everything we can to get them every cent they are owed under the law,” said Shapiro when he announced the plea. “A few minutes ago, I was able to tell them that we made good on that promise.

“We took on one of the largest construction companies in the state, and now 1,267 people will have a better shot at retirement; they will get the paychecks they earned under the law; and they will have their work and their livelihoods protected and respected, instead of ignored.”

Shapiro added that his office has heard from other contractors in the state that this enforcement helps their business by deterring other employers from engaging in similar schemes.

Correction: Hawbaker pled no contest to the charges.

Shaffer & Engle managing partner announces candidacy for Dauphin County Judge

Jeffrey Engle. PHOTO PROVIDED.

Jeffrey Engle, managing partner for Harrisburg-based law firm, Shaffer & Engle, announced his candidacy for judge on the Dauphin County Court on Saturday.

The seat is currently open following the retirement of Judge Jeanine Turgeon.

Engle, a municipal lawyer for large school districts, local governments and Dauphin County for over 20 years, founded his private practice with partner Allen Shaffer in 1999 in Millersburg. The duo relocated their central location to Harrisburg in 2012.

The Republican attorney will run on both the Republican and Democratic tickets in the seat’s primary and again in the fall of 2021.

Engle has support in the Dauphin County Republican Committee, where he was endorsed by an 80% vote.

In the press release announcing his candidacy, the area attorney said that he would “bring a well-balanced background to the Bench as a former prosecutor, defense attorney and civil attorney.”

Engle joins the race alongside defense attorney Bryan McQuilan of Kelly, Parker & Cohen in Lower Paxton Township. McQuilan will also appear on both ballots.

States sue generic drug makers alleging collusion to stifle competition

A 50-state coalition filed its third lawsuit in an ongoing antitrust investigation into potential collusion among manufacturers of generic topical drugs.

The coalition’s new complaint alleges that generic drug manufacturers Taro, Perrigo, Actavis and Sandoz agreed to minimize competition and raise prices on dozens of topical products to ensure each company had a “fair share” of the market.

Taro, Perrigo and Sandoz alone sold nearly two-thirds of all generic topical products in the U.S. between 2007 and 2014, according to the suit.

A number of smaller companies are also defendants in the suit, which alleges the companies “understood the rules of the road and took the necessary steps to limit competition among them.”

The lawsuit targets billions of dollars in sales from more than 80 generic drugs the coalition says were artificially inflated. The complaint names 26 companies and 10 individuals that sold the products, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Shapiro announced the suit in a statement on Wednesday.

The suit is one of three complaints filed by the coalition in recent years. The first two, one filed in 2016 and the other in 2019, are both pending in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“The deeper we dig, the more we are finding how these companies have ripped off consumers in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said. “These drug companies are tied together at the hip — they profit while people who need affordable generic drugs suffer. We will continue to hold them accountable to restore competition in the marketplace.”

In its complaint, the coalition states that drug manufacturers had long-standing agreements over several years not to compete for each other’s customers and to follow each other on price increases.

Evidence brought forward by the investigation includes several cooperating witnesses, more than 20 million documents and a phone records database containing millions of call detail records.

“In order to maintain these unlawful agreements, the competitors stayed in nearly constant communication – meeting regularly at trade shows and customer conferences and communicating frequently by phone and text message to reinforce their understandings,” the states wrote in the complaint. “This complaint is replete with examples demonstrating how these understandings manifested themselves with respect to specific products over a period of many years.”

The lawsuit seeks repayment for the alleged inflated prices as well as restoration, civil penalties, costs and fees.

Cicero named executive director of PLAN

Patrick M. Cicero. (Photo: Submitted)

Attorney Patrick M. Cicero has been appointed as the new executive director for the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN), taking the helm as the organization’s seventh leader.

Cicero will succeed longtime executive director Sam Milkes, who has held that position since 2001 and will officially step down on March 31.

Attorney Jay Alberstadt, president of PLAN’s board of directors, led a nationwide search for the new leader of the Harrisburg-based nonprofit, deciding to go with someone who already had ties to the organization.

“We are very pleased with the results of this search and look forward to Patrick’s leadership for years to come,” Alberstadt said.

Before accepting his new role, Cicero served as the executive director of the Harrsburg-based Pennsylvania Utility Law Project, a statewide legal aid program that is part of PLAN’s network. He also served as a clerk for the Hon. Sylvia Rambo of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and a staff attorney with MidPenn Legal Services, the Harrisburg-based civil legal aid organization serving residents in 18 counties.

“I believe that Pennsylvania has some of the strongest legal aid programs in the country,” Cicero said. “We have reliable funders, excellent project directors and staff, strong public support, and robust client participation.”

PLAN is a statewide consortium of independent legal aid programs providing civil legal services to low-income individuals and families. Last year more than 73,000 individuals and families in Pennsylvania were helped by the organization.