AG Jennings Announces $30 Million Order Against Student Lender For Illegal Practices 

Comes after initiating joint effort with federal and state partners

Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced today that, due to the work of her office, along with the federal Consumer Protection Financial Bureau and 11 other states, a Delaware bankruptcy court approved a stipulated judgment that will require bankrupt student lender Prehired to provide more than $30 million in relief to student borrowers nationwide, for making false promises of job placement, trapping students with income share loans that violated the law, and resorting to abusive debt collection practices when borrowers could not pay. The order approved by a federal bankruptcy court requires Prehired to cease all operations, permits the potential payment of $4.2 million in redress to consumers that were affected by its illegal practices, and voids all of its outstanding income share loans, valued by Prehired at nearly $27 million.

“When Prehired decided to use the Delaware courts to perpetrate an illegal nationwide debt collection scheme, my office quickly took action to stop them in their tracks.  Today, through an effort that grew to include 11 other states and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we are pleased to announce this resolution that will provide real relief to borrowers around the country,” said Attorney General Jennings.  “My office will continue to do the work to ensure that Delaware’s courts and judicial system are not used to perpetrate frauds, either here in Delaware or across the nation.”

Prehired operated a 12-week online training program claiming to prepare students for entry-level positions as software sales development representatives with “sixfigure salaries” and a “job guarantee.” Prehired offered students “income share” loans to help finance their costs of the program. Today’s order also names two affiliated companies, Prehired Recruiting and Prehired Accelerator, that pursued collection on defaulted income share loans.

AG Jennings’ Consumer Protection Unit initially took action in early 2022, starting the chain of events that the led to today’s nationwide resolution. That investigation began after Prehired filed nearly 300 debt-collection lawsuits in the Delaware Justice of the Peace Court seeking to enforce its income share agreements. Prehired started filing the lawsuits one month after forming two Delaware limited liability companies, including the plaintiff in the debt collection actions. Prehired voluntarily dismissed those cases after the CPU expressed its concerns in a March 8 letter that virtually all of the defendants resided outside of Delaware and had no practical way to defend themselves in the lawsuits. Just days later, Prehired began refiling those same cases on the Ejudicate online arbitration platform—even though students never agreed to arbitrate on Ejudicate. Once again, the Consumer Protection Unit acted quickly seeking to stop the illegal arbitrations.

More information about today’s order can be found in a companion release issued by the CFPB today, available here.  A copy of the federal bankruptcy court’s order is available here.

In addition to the work of its sister states and the CFPB, AG Jennings also recognizes the efforts of the Delaware Justice of the Peace Courts for acting promptly to stay the lawsuits filed by Prehired against hundreds of consumers.

Delaware DOJ’s efforts on this matter were handled by the staff of AG Jennings’ Consumer Protection Unit, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Katie Devanney, whose efforts were critical to bringing Prehired practices to light.

DOJ Convicts Keith Gibson For Killing Spree 

Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced Tuesday that a New Castle County jury convicted Keith Gibson of 25 charges,including two counts of murder, relating to a brutal crime spree in the summer of 2021. He faces a mandatory life sentence.

“Our prosecutors did phenomenal work on a deeply disturbing case,” said Attorney General Jennings. “The defendant carried out a vicious, cold-blooded crime spree, killing two and injuring four people in Delaware, and facing pending charges for yet more violence in Pennsylvania. He was armed and wearing a bulletproof vest when law enforcement arrested him, and it is difficult to fathom how much more destruction he would have caused had he not been apprehended. I’m proud of our prosecutors and of law enforcement who ensured that he will spend the rest of his life in a prison cell. Above all else, we are thinking of his victims, including those whose lives were cut short and whose families are still healing from this man’s crimes.”

On May 15, 2021, Gibson shot and killed Leslie Ruiz-Basilio, 28, during a robbery at a Metro PCS store on Kirkwood Highway in Elsmere and stole her vehicle. Less than a month later, Gibson shot and killed Ronald Wright, 42, during a street robbery, and assaulted another victim. Over the following three days, Gibson robbed and/or assaulted another three victims, including attempted murder against one, along with a host of weapons and drug offenses. Gibson was arrested on June 8 in connection with the robbery of a Wilmington Rite-Aid.

Gibson’s convictions are as follows:

  • Four counts of Murder 1st Degree
  • Attempted Murder 1st Degree
  • Thirteen counts of Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony
  • Four counts of Robbery 1st Degree
  • Conspiracy 2nd Degree
  • Theft of a Motor Vehicle
  • Wearing Body Armor During the Commission of a Felony

Additional charges against Gibson, including several drug charges, are pending in Superior Court.

Gibson’s conviction was secured by Deputy Attorneys General John Downs and Ipek Kurul. Deputy Attorneys General Matt Frawley and Sam Kenney also worked on the case, including on securing Gibson’s indictment. The prosecution was supported by Senior Paralegal Stacey Coupe and Social Workers Donna Lindsey and Marilyn Torres. The investigation was led by the Wilmington Police Department and the Elsmere Police Department, with support from law enforcement partners in the New Castle County Police Department, the Newport Police Department, the City of New Castle Police Department, the Newark Police Department, the Philadelphia Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, and the ATF, in addition to support from T-Mobile Asset Protection and the Ruiz-Basilio family.

With Latest Murder Conviction, AG’s Office And WPD Go Undefeated In Major Gang Case

Prosecutors indicted and convicted 20 defendants for murder, shooting, and other feloniesshootings down 30% since 2020

A successful murder trial has completed the State’s four-year prosecution against a major Wilmington-area gang with a 100% conviction rate, Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced Tuesday. The State’s efforts have secured more than 100 years of confirmed prison time, and several defendants yet to be sentenced face multiple potential life sentences.

“This is an exclamation point on a case that our team has lived and breathed for more than four years,” said AG Jennings. “These gang members are responsible for unthinkable violence in our city, for losses of lives that can never be restored, and for the pain and suffering of the victims’ families and every City resident who has borne the cost of gun violence. I’m proud that our team convicted every defendant. I’m heartened by the progress that gang prosecutions have helped us make as we’ve reduced shootings by 30% since 2020. And I’m grateful for the life-saving efforts of the Wilmington Police Department and all of our partners in this investigation.”

“The results of the long-term investigation into this violent gang are nothing short of remarkable, with a total of 20 defendants convicted in a slew of criminal cases that encompassed four murders, a six-person shooting incident, six additional shooting incidents, a robbery and a number of gun offenses,” said Chief Wilfredo Campos. “I am proud of the work of our detectives, and appreciative of the partnership of our fellow law enforcement agencies as well as prosecutors in the Delaware Department of Justice. This investigation has undoubtedly saved lives and prevented shootings and other violent crime, and we hope that this serves as a strong reminder to others engaged in gun violence in our community that we will not stop until they are held accountable.”

Deonte Robinson, 22, was convicted at trial of Murder 2nd Degree, Gang Participation, Conspiracy 1st Degree, and Conspiracy 2nd Degree, and faces 15 years to life at sentencing. Robinson was the 20th, and final, defendant convicted under a massive four-year prosecution against the violent gang MGS.

The State’s case against MGS (“M-Block Grimy Savages”) began in September 2019 as an effort to address gang violence in Wilmington through a newly formed Task Force, which consisted of personnel from the Delaware Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Wilmington Police Department, the ATF, and the FBI.  Traces on crime guns recovered in and around Wilmington helped the Task Force identify MGS as a major driver of violence in Wilmington.

The ensuing investigation identified 19 defendants — 17 adults and 2 juveniles — involved with MGS or aligned gangs and numerous violent felonies, as well as a non-MGS member who contracted a Dover killing.  The crimes included the killings of Shiheem Durham, Naithan Grzybowski, Tommier Dendy, and Eddie Green; a six-victim mass shooting at the intersection of 10th and Pine Streets in April 2019; six additional shooting cases; a robbery; and numerous gun offenses.

The State ultimately convicted all twenty defendants. In addition to Robinson, the convictions were:


  • Jason Calhum, 22, guilty of Murder 1st Degree (Durham), Gang Participation, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Money Laundering, Conspiracy 1st Degree, and three counts of Conspiracy 2nd Degree
  • Khalil Dixon, 26, guilty of Murder 1st Degree (Durham), Money Laundering, Criminal Solicitation 1st Degree, Conspiracy 1st Degree and Conspiracy 2nd Degree
  • Tyrie Burton, 24, guilty of Conspiracy 1st Degree, Assault 1st Degree, two counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Gang Participation, and Violation of Probation
  • Davon Walker, 23, guilty of Murder 2nd Degree (Grzybowski), Murder 2nd Degree (Dendy), Murder 2nd Degree (Green), Gang Participation, and Conspiracy 1st Degree
  • Pierre Carter-Bailey, 23, guilty of Assault 1st Degree, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony
  • Deonta Carney, 23, guilty of Gang Participation
  • Zakier Smith, 24, guilty of Assault 2nd Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, and Gang Participation
  • Lloyd Smith, 23, guilty of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Concealed Carry of a Deadly Weapon, and Conspiracy 2nd Degree
  • Dahmere White, 26, guilty of Possession of a firearm by a Person Prohibited and Gang Participation
  • Marcell Dixon, 29, guilty of Concealed Carry of a Deadly Weapon, Gang Participation, and Violation of Probation
  • Jakeem Bush, 21, guilty of Gang Participation
  • Antonio Wright, 32, guilty of Providing a Firearm to a Person Prohibited, and Gang Participation.
  • Nathaniel Murray, 22, guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Concealed Carry of a Deadly Weapon, and Gang Participation.
  • Jahmier Robinson-Handy, 21, guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited and Concealed Carry of a Deadly Weapon.
  • Clarence Jarman, 22, guilty of Gang Participation.
  • Zyamese Mobley, 24, guilty of Gang Participation.
  • Darielle Oliver, 22, no contest to Hindering Prosecution
  • Two minors each guilty of Gang Participation.

Since 2020, gun violence in Delaware has been reduced by 30% statewide, including a 50% decline in summer shootings and a 60% reduction in Wilmington homicides.

The convictions against these defendants were secured by Deputy Attorneys General Jamie McCloskey, Erika Flaschner, and AJ Hill following an extensive investigation led by Det. Devon Jones of the Wilmington Police Department. Delaware State Police led the investigation into the murder of Shiheem Durham in Dover. The DOJ’S efforts were made possible by Criminal Intelligence Analyst Dan Masi, Paralegals Julia Bacon and Sarah Molaski, and Social Worker Crystal Pitts.

DOJ’s Consumer Protection Unit hammers out contractor regs

Attorney General Kathy Jennings’ Consumer Protection Unit promulgated final regulations that establish clear rules of the road for the Home Improvement Services industry in Delaware.  The regulations, issued pursuant to the Consumer Fraud Act, become effective today, November 1.

The Regulation is based on hundreds of complaints received by the Department of Justice, and it requires a number of disclosures and prohibits certain practices regarding home improvement transactions.  Among other things, the new regulations require home improvement contractors to provide customers with a written contract listing all material terms. Homeowners may not be asked to sign incomplete contracts. They also require contractors to provide a completion date in the contract, unless a clear disclosure is made to the homeowner.  Contractors may not misrepresent the terms or basis for any discount, nor may they characterize a binding contract as an “estimate.” The regulations also prohibit contractors from obtaining a certificate of completion from a homeowner before the work is actually completed.

Additional requirements in the new regulations can be found in a summary published by the CPU today, and available here. Effective today, contractors must provide a copy of this summary prior to having a buyer sign a home improvement contract. Read the full regulation here.

“Hiring a contractor to work on your home can often feel like a leap of faith.  These new regulations clarify common sense practices and protections that will help ensure homeowners are treated fairly and give them some peace of mind,” said Attorney General Kathy Jennings. “Establishing clear rules of the road will also help level the playing field for small home improvement businesses throughout Delaware, making it harder for unscrupulous contractors to undercut legitimate ones.”

The Department of Justice receives a large number of complaints about home improvement related issues each year. DOJ received approximately 80 complaints about home improvement related issues in 2021, approximately 200 complaints in 2022, and approximately 120 complaints in the first 7 months of the 2023. Additionally, the Consumer Protection Unit has undertaken several investigations into the conduct of home improvement contractors. Through the complaints and investigations, the Consumer Protection Unit has been able to identify practices that frequently harm consumers, many of which are addressed in the new regulations.

The Regulations were introduced on April 1, 2023, in the Delaware Register of Regulations, and finalized on October 1, 2023, following a public hearing held by the Consumer Protection Unit (“CPU”) on May 24, 2023. The public was given the opportunity to provide the CPU with comments on the proposed regulation both at the public hearing and in writing.

Homeowners are reminded that complaints about home improvement contractors can be made to the DOJ’s Consumer Mediation Unit via the internet or by calling the hotline at (302) 577-8600 or (800) 220-5424.

Deputy Attorney General Brian Canfield drafted the regulations, with support from Paralegal Rhynn Evans, who oversaw and managed the regulatory process for the DOJ; assistance from Special Investigator Joseph Rago; and oversight from Consumer Protection Director Marion Quirk.

AG Jennings files lawsuit against chemical companies for causing contamination of Delaware’s natural resources

Attorney General seeks damages, including costs necessary to restore impacted natural resources and funding for State-run public health programs.

Attorney General Kathleen Jennings announced that the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to hold numerous companies accountable for contaminating Delaware’s natural resources with per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) traceable to the use and disposal of aqueous film-forming foam (“AFFF”), a specialized firefighting foam product widely used at airports and military bases. The lawsuit results from a detailed investigation conducted over a two-year period, including environmental sampling and forensic analysis as well as review of corporate records.

In the lawsuit, the State alleges that 3M Company and other AFFF manufacturers caused damage to Delaware’s environment and jeopardized Delawareans’ health by introducing PFAS into rivers, streams, groundwater, soils, and wildlife. Each of the Defendants designed, manufactured, marketed, distributed, supplied, and/or sold PFAS-based AFFF products and/or AFFF components that contain or break down into toxic components that, when used as intended, result in significant environmental contamination and pollution with PFAS.  The lawsuits seek damages, including costs necessary to restore impacted natural resources and funding for State-run public health programs.

“I don’t care who you are: if you harm Delaware and its people, we will hold you accountable,” said Attorney General Jennings. “3M and the other defendants knew the dangers that PFAS posed and they still chose profits over our neighborhoods and our children. Delawareans shouldn’t have to pay the costs of corporate greed, and we’re taking action to ensure that they won’t.”

The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of Delaware and seeks monetary damages, including natural resource damages and costs to test, monitor, assess, and respond to contamination. The natural resources impacted include groundwater and other resources near the New Castle County Airport in New Castle County and the Dover Air Force Base in Kent County where AFFF products were long used and disposed of.  Impacts to State property, private drinking water wells, water supplies, and public natural resources have been identified as a result of these natural resource impairments.

The complaint details a pattern of pollution and deception that went on, in some instances, for decades. Specific details from the complaint includes:

  • Corporate records from 3M show that it developed a sophisticated understanding of health and environmental hazards that PFAS posed no later than the 1960s. The company concealed this information and developed thousands of industrial applications for the chemicals, including its own PFAS-based AFFF products and sales of chemicals to manufacturers for incorporation into their AFFF products, generating billions of dollars in revenue.
  • Safer alternatives to AFFF not containing or breaking down into toxic PFAS were available when the Defendants designed, manufactured, marketed, distributed, supplied, and/or sold the products.
  • Defendants also failed to provide adequate warnings and instructions with their AFFF products that may have eliminated or limited the release of PFAS from AFFF into the environment, or otherwise mitigate their detrimental environmental effects.
  • At the New Castle County Airport and Dover Air Force Base, PFAS-based AFFF products were sprayed directly on or near the ground in firefighting and fire training exercises, causing it to be disposed, spilled or otherwise discharged or released into the environment as a matter of ordinary and intended usage.

PFAS compounds are toxic and do not occur naturally. Due to the extraordinary strength of the carbon-fluorine bond that defines these compounds, they resist natural degradation processes and are commonly called “forever chemicals.” PFAS compounds accumulate in living tissue, leading to chronic exposures, and several have been linked to cancer, thyroid disruption, ulcerative colitis, and developmental and systemic disorders. Several Delaware water utilities have installed specialized filtration technologies to remove PFAS from drinking water.

Delawareans who receive their drinking water from private wells are strongly encouraged to annually check their water. A simple water test is available from the State of Delaware for $4, with more comprehensive tests available from private companies. Learn more at Delawareans who receive their water from a community water system should still monitor their public water systems through the Delaware Drinking Water Watch at