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SALEM -- Attorney General John Kroger announced a $3.5 million multi-state settlement with Publishers Clearing House Thursday, over allegations that the sweepstakes giant misled consumers about the benefits of purchasing magazines.

This settlement will insure that Publishers Clearing House plays by the rules and does not exploit Oregonians, Kroger said.

The settlement, filed in Marion County Circuit Court, will require Publishers Clearing House to increase its efforts to inform consumers that making a purchase does not increase their chances of winning. The company, which admitted no wrongdoing, also must hire an ombudsman to review mailings to insure compliance with the settlement.

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin were all involved in the settlement, along with Oregon.

At least 60 Oregonians came forward with complaints as part of the lawsuit. Money from the settlement will go to victims as well as a consumer protection fund which will be used to go after other companies that are breaking the law.

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