WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson finds himself on the defensive after reports have surfaced that many of the chicken-tuna price-fixing lawsuit settlement checks sent out in December went to dead people.

   Lawsuit accused 19 major producers of collusion to jack up prices

The State received just over $40 million from a settlement with the majority of these firms, who were accused a number of years ago of colluding to raise chicken and tuna prices (even only a few cents) to boost profits.

WA AG Bob Ferguson announced about 400K lower-income households would receive either a check for $50 (single-dweller) or $120 (family). However, he came under fire because the checks listed him, "Bob Ferguson," as the payer, and the letter--according to critics-- accompanying the checks allegedly painted him out to be a 'champion' of the people..

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A complaint was filed with the Washington State Board of Ethics, saying because Ferguson is running for Governor, putting his name on the checks and including the letter constituted campaigning is, therefore, a violation of using public money.

Now, he is facing heat because a growing number of refund checks were sent to dead people.  WA State House Rep and new State GOP Chairman Jim Walsh has posted numerous pictures, as have others, of a number of checks sent, that were found to have gone to deceased persons. Walsh cited the case where $50 was sent to Forrest Olsen, who died in 1984. One of them is pictured here, from Walsh' Facebook page.


settlement check to dead person (Jim Walsh Facebook)
settlement check to dead person (Jim Walsh Facebook)

AG Ferguson responded to MyNorthwest.com, saying they utilized the services of Experion (a credit rating company) and some other sources to try to provide an accurate list of where to send them. He told MyNorthwest they worked with Experion, so "it's not our list."   He also acknowledged his name being the payer on the checks when he is also running for Governor but said it's been done that way for decades prior when it comes to such settlements.

Walsh says the number of people who have reached out to him saying their families received checks made out to dead people is in the "hundreds,"  he refers to the settlement money as "Fishy Fergie Checks."

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Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff


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