NewsEvents

Statement on Pruitt Confirmation

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement following the confirmation vote by the U.S. Senate of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“With the confirmation today of my friend, Scott Pruitt, to lead the EPA, I am positive the agency will focus on protecting the environment while not negatively impacting the economy and job market with unnecessary, burdensome regulations,” said Attorney General Rutledge.

Lawsuit Against The Resort Place

Says, ‘This business has been over promising and under delivering, ruining many vacations’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed a consumer-protection lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Barling-based The Resort Place and its owners, Jay Allen and Dora Ann Edmondson. The Resort Place also conducts business under the names of Resort Place Travel and C4Success.

“This business has been over promising and under delivering, ruining many vacations in the process,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “After receiving over 75 complaints and conducting an investigation, I am filing a lawsuit against The Resort Place. By taking money from consumers and failing to provide the promised goods and services, this company has repeatedly violated Arkansas law and caused many undue financial hardships.”

The Resort Place offers services to vacation-property owners seeking to rent their properties and to vacation-rental customers seeking to book a property for a period of time through email solicitations and two websites, theresortplace.com and resortplacetravel.com.

Consumers describe paying The Resort Place for vacation bookings but then learning upon arrival that the reservation was never booked. Some consumers have also said they were moved from the resort that was promised to a hotel room with none of the amenities that were included in their original reservation. Others complained they had to pay for substitute accommodations out-of-pocket — with fewer amenities — even though payment had been previously made to The Resort Place.

Rutledge reports in today’s filing one consumer who traveled 10 hours by car with an infant and a toddler to vacation in Florida at a resort that was booked and paid for through The Resort Place. Upon arrival, the individual was informed that The Resort Place had not paid for the promised accommodations. The consumer contacted The Resort Place and was instructed to pay over $5,000 for the accommodations out-of-pocket, which she was promised would be reimbursed. The company repeatedly claimed to issue payment to the customer, but each payment bounced and the promised reimbursement has still not been received. Many of the complaints into the Attorney General’s office report nearly identical occurrences.

Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution, attorneys’ fees, costs and other relief against The Resort Place and the Edmondsons.

Settlement with Walgreens

Arkansas to receive nearly $95,000

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined with the federal government and other states to settle allegations that the Walgreen Co., or Walgreens, unlawfully solicited and allowed Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to enroll in its Prescription Savings Club program in order to encourage such individuals to self-refer prescriptions to Walgreens’ pharmacies.

“Walgreens allegedly encouraged Arkansans to enroll in a program that claimed cost savings but in reality only helped the company pad their bottom line with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans deserve to be treated honestly and fairly especially when it comes to prescription drug costs.”

The alleged conduct by Walgreens constitutes a clear violation of federal and state anti-kickback statutes. Walgreens, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, will pay the states and the federal government $50 million, of which Arkansas will receive $94,634.35 for the Arkansas Medicaid Program to resolve civil allegations that Walgreens submitted false claims to that program arising out of its unlawful kickback marketing scheme.

The investigation resulted from an action originally filed in January 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under the federal False Claims Act and various state false claims statutes.

A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with Walgreens on behalf of the states. The team included representatives from the Offices of the Attorneys General for the states of California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and New York.

Helena-West Helena Woman Sentenced

Says, ‘I am committed to ensuring that those people attempting to defraud Arkansans are held accountable’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the conviction of a Phillips County woman for Medicaid fraud. Jacqueline Young pleaded guilty in Pulaski County Circuit Court and was sentenced to three years probation and to pay nearly $1,400 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program and more than $4,000 in fines and court costs.

“Medicaid is a critical safety net for some of the most vulnerable Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Investigators and attorneys from the Attorney General’s office work tirelessly to investigate and prosecute those who commit Medicaid fraud. I am committed to ensuring that those people attempting to defraud Arkansans are held accountable.”

Young, 38, of Helena-West Helena pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud, a Class C felony, for billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program for services not rendered from July to October 2015.

The case was initiated by a referral from the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and was prosecuted in coordination with the 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.

To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, complete the online form at ArkansasAG.gov, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or email oag@arkansasag.gov.

2 NEA Women Arrested for Fraud

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of a Craighead County woman and a Green County woman. Both cases were referred to the Attorney General’s office by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General upon which a joint investigation and audit were conducted.

Paula Riggs, 49, of Jonesboro, was arrested and released from the Pulaski County Detention Facility. She is charged with Failure to Maintain Records, a Class D felony, and two counts of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony. Riggs is accused of billing $26,242.56 for services not rendered as a speech language pathologist with the Bay School District and failing to maintain documents.

Hanna Riggs, 24, of Paragould, was arrested and released from the Pulaski County Detention Facility. She is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, a Class B and a Class C felony, and Failure to Maintain Records, a Class D felony. She is accused of billing for services not rendered, totaling $5,854.96, as a speech language pathologist with the Bay School District and for failing to maintain documents.

Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, submit a confidential online form or contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

Luther Strange Senate Appointment

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today following the appointment of her colleague, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, to the U.S. Senate to fill the seat left vacant by Sen. Jeff Sessions who will become U.S. Attorney General.

“Congratulations to my colleague, Luther Strange, on his appointment to the U.S. Senate,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Luther has not only been a counselor and friend to me since I took office but a leader on countless issues for many years as he has fought public corruption, upheld the rule of law and worked to push back on an out-of-control federal government. While I will miss serving alongside Luther as attorney general, I know that he will make a fine U.S. Senator, continuing to fight for the people of Alabama.”

February
21
Tuesday

Arkansas County Resources Day

Stuttgart Senior Citizens Center
811 South Buerkle Street

Mobile Office
9:30 to 11 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Todd Wright
9:30 to 11 a.m.

Internet Safety Presentation
10:30 to 11 a.m.

 9:30 AMVIEW 
February
22
Wednesday

Winter Webcast Series: FOIA

Arkansas Freedom of Information Act

10 a.m. to noon

The webcast will include FOIA Made Simple presentations by the Attorney General’s office detailing responsibilities and rights covered under the act related to public meetings and documents.

This session has been approved for two hours of two hours of Continuing Legal Education law enforcement CLEST credit.

Free and open to the public

Register
 10:00 AMVIEW 
February
23
Thursday

Lincoln County Resources Day

Star City Senior Center
201 North Drew

Mobile Office
Prescription Drug Take Back

Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Leonard Hogg
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Senior Internet Safety Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
February
28
Tuesday

Woodruff County Resources Day

Patterson Senior Life Center
303 West Cache Street

Mobile Office
Prescription Drug Take Back

Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Phillip Reynolds
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Senior Internet Safety Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
March
2
Thursday

Jackson County Resources Day

Newport Senior Life Center
947 Hout Circle

Mobile Office
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff David Lucas
11:30 a.m. to 1: p.m.

Senior Internet Safety Presentation
11:30 a.m. to noon

 11:30 AMVIEW 
March
7
Tuesday

Calhoun County Resources Day

Calhoun County Senior Center
1120 Prestress Drive, Hampton

Mobile Office
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Robert Dunn
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Senior Internet Safety Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
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