Prison Email Company Pays $8,000 for Holding Improper Contest | Off Message

Prison Email Company Pays $8,000 for Holding Improper Contest


Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan - FILE
  • File
  • Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan
A private company that provides a pay-per-email service for Vermont inmates and their families has paid nearly $8,000 to settle allegations that it ran a contest that violated state law, Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced Friday.

JPay, which also provides money transfers, tablets, and a probation and parole payment system, paid a $7,380 penalty to the state and $400 in refunds to 82 Vermonters, Donovan said.

The company advertised and ran a “JPay Day” contest, offering anyone who used their services on April 20 entry into a drawing for a $1,000 prize, Donovan said. Vermont law requires that any company running such a contest offer a way for people to enter without making a purchase or paying an entry fee. JPay failed to provide that option, Donovan said.

As part of the settlement, JPay will pay the penalty to the state and refund all Vermonters who paid transaction fees on the day of the contest. The company also vowed to follow state law in the future, Donovan said.

In the next few weeks, Donovan said, Vermonters who made purchases through JPay on April 20 will receive a notification of a refund, which will automatically be applied to the credit card they used for the transaction.

Customers will receive an average of a $5 refund.

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