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Rutledge Announces July Mobile Office Schedule

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for July.

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans. In 2019, Attorney General Mobile Offices have already served over 1,000 Arkansans.

Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations are the best way to truly hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist Arkansans with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices. Another 161.5 pounds of medications have been collected so far this year.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Carroll County

Tuesday, July 9

10:30 a.m. to noon

Carroll County Senior Activity & Wellness Center

202 W. Madison Ave

Berryville, AR 72616

Woodruff County

Thursday, July 11

10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Woodruff County Senior Life Center

303 Cache St.

Patterson, AR 72123

Baxter County

Thursday, July 18

9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Van Matre Senior Activity & Wellness Center

1101 Spring St.

Mountain Home, AR 72653

Clay County

Tuesday, July 23

11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

M.B. Ainley, Jr. Community Center

536 E. Elm St.

Corning, AR 72422

Sebastian County

Friday, July 26

10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Fort Smith Senior Activity Center

2700 Cavanaugh Rd.

Fort Smith, AR 72908

Marion County

Tuesday, July 30

10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Marion County Activity & Wellness Center

5966 Highway 202 E.

Flippin, AR 72634

Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit to be Held in November

Governor Christie to Keynote Summit

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, chairman of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, will give the keynote address at the eighth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit, to be held at the Hot Springs Convention Center on Nov. 14.

“Governor Christie has seen firsthand the tragedy of drug addiction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “From Pennsylvania Avenue in DC to Main streets across Arkansas, it is imperative that all Americans work in concert to end this epidemic.”

The all-day summit will include breakout sessions on four different tracks, including clinical, criminal justice, education/prevention and counseling/recovery.

Early bird registration is now available, but seating is limited for the event, a free educational training opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Members of the general public may also attend and will have the opportunity to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.

In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Summit is being sponsored by the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Arkansas State Police, Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Office of the State Drug Director, Rotary Clubs of Arkansas, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSouth School of Social Work.

Rutledge has been a leader in the State and nation combatting the opioid epidemic by using a multifaceted approach through education, litigation, treatment and enforcement. Her first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and over the last year has reached 68 counties and almost 14,000 students. Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by separately suing opioid manufacturers and distributors for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

More information can be found at ArkansasAG.gov.

Rutledge Lauds Prison Sentence Of Helena-West Helena Hospice Owner

Says, ‘Residents in Helena-West Helena should feel vindicated with the justice served today’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement on the decision sentencing Charline Brandon to five years in prison. Brandon, owner of Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care of Helena-West Helena, pleaded guilty to two counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of willful failure to pay or file taxes.

“Residents in Helena-West Helena should feel vindicated with the justice served today,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Holding facilities and owners to the highest standards is the best way to ensure all Arkansans have access to healthcare facilities near their homes.”

In March, Brandon of Cleveland, Mississippi, pleaded guilty to two counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of willful failure to pay or file taxes. The Medicaid fraud investigation revealed that from September 2013 through December 2016, Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care was paid gross income of $1,567,432.82 by Medicaid and Medicare and never filed an income tax return in Arkansas. The Medicaid fraud charges resulted from Brandon billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program $289,986.46 for hospice care services provided to two Medicaid recipients who were never terminally ill.

Brandon has pleaded guilty in federal court in Mississippi to similar allegations involving Medicaid and Medicare in Mississippi.

This case was referred to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by the Mississippi Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General. The case was investigated with assistance from the Arkansas Medicaid Inspector General and prosecuted in cooperation with Sixth Judicial District Prosecutor Larry Jegley. The Corporation Income Tax Section in the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Tax Auditor also participated in the investigation.

Rutledge Announced Fake Cancer Charities to Pay $2.5 Million

Says, ‘scam artists are being held responsible for preying on Arkansans with big hearts’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the final step in a multistate enforcement action against four sham cancer charities, a lawsuit which was filed in May 2015. The $2.5 million will be distributed among cancer centers across the country as the result of the recovery of settlement dollars from the Cancer Fund of America Inc., Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc., Cancer Support Services Inc., The Breast Cancer Society Inc., James Reynolds Sr., Kyle Effler, Rose Perkins and James Reynolds Jr. The complaint alleged that the leaders of these sham charities used donated funds to pay themselves exorbitant salaries, luxurious trips, purchase houses and cars as well as day-to-day expenses.

“These scam artists are being held responsible for preying on Arkansans with big hearts,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “People who wanted to honor loved ones were misled into sending money which only lined the pockets of these cons and their families.”

The complaint alleged that the so-called charities, led by James Reynolds and his family members, bilked the public out of more than $187 million between 2008 and 2012. Of the money collected, only 3% was directed to cancer patients in the United States in the form of “care packages” containing religious DVDs, Moon Pies, random items of clothing and various sundries. Cancer Fund of America also claimed to supply patients with pain medications and transportation to chemotherapy treatments, when it provided no such services. The charities also participated in a “gift-in-kind” program in which they sent drugs that had nothing to do with cancer to other countries.

The complaint alleged that the purpose of this program was to make the organizations appear larger than they were while also hiding their high fundraising costs. The complaint also alleged that the leaders of these sham charities used donated funds to pay themselves exorbitant salaries and to go on trips to destinations like Thailand, Las Vegas and Disneyworld. The Reynolds also bought themselves cars, boats, jet skis and houses, and used the charities’ credit cards to buy designer handbags, jewelry and clothing, and to pay for day-to-day expenses such as gas, groceries and utility bills.

The money will be transferred to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) who, under a services agreement with the plaintiffs, will distribute the funds to select health and medical programs targeting breast and pediatric cancer. Eligibility will be determined through an invitation-only application process, and is limited to NCI-designated Cancer Care Centers, a designation bestowed by the National Cancer Institute on institutions and programs recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research. RPA CEO Melissa Berman noted, “We are pleased to be part of this landmark process of ensuring that the philanthropic intent of donors is coming to fruition, despite the conduct of bad actors.” RPA will ensure that the funding will serve patients in all 50 states, and will monitor, ensure compliance and provide detailed reporting for all grants awarded.

Rutledge Applauds SCOTUS American Legion Cross Decision

Decision demonstrates our State’s Ten Commandments monument is constitutional

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge applauds today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of a nearly 100 year old World War I memorial cross. The decision, American Legion v. American Humanist Association, further underscores the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol.

“The Supreme Court’s decision supports the defense of our State’s Ten Commandments monument and demonstrates that our monument is constitutional,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “With today’s decision in play, I am confident Arkansas will ultimately be victorious and that the Ten Commandments will remain where it belongs, on the State Capitol grounds.”

Last July, Rutledge joined a 28-state coalition of attorneys general and the Governor of Kentucky filing a brief in support of Maryland’s litigation to protect their long-standing monument that commemorates those who valiantly died while serving in World War I.

Rutledge Applauds Final Rule Repealing and Replacing the Clean Power Plan

Says, ‘Big win for job creators across America’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge applauds today’s announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the final ruling of President Donald J. Trump’s proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan. The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Final Rule comes after Rutledge joined a bipartisan letter urging the EPA to approve the Administration’s proposal.

“The Affordable Clean Energy rule is a big win for job creators across America by returning power back to states rather than a one-size-fits-all mandate from the federal government,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The repealed Obama-era Clean Power Plan was illegal and ignored concerns from the states about anticipated skyrocketing utility rates and impacts on Arkansas businesses and jobs.”

In December, a 21-state coalition of attorneys general filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing support of President Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule because it respects the vital role of states in regulating energy and air quality. The rule fully embraces the intent of Congress for cooperation between the State and federal governments, correcting the Obama-era, model would have had a devastating impact on Arkansas ratepayers.

The Affordable Clean Energy rule restores each state’s authority to consider factors specific to the energy needs of the state, including costs, practical achievability and the useful life of any particular power plant. It also adopts a more individualized approach to rulemaking, allowing for achievable targets for individual plants, which is a stark contrast to the Obama EPA’s effort to wholly shutter coal-fired power plants.

July
9
Tuesday

Carroll County Resources Day

Carroll County Senior Activity & Wellness Center
202 West Madison Avenue, Berryville

Mobile Office
10:30 a.m. to noon

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Jim Ross
10:30 a.m. to noon

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
11:30 a.m. to noon

Carroll County Resources Day

 10:30 AMVIEW 
July
11
Thursday

Woodruff County Resources Day

Woodruff County Senior Life Center
303 Cache Street, Patterson

Mobile Office
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Prescription drug take back partner: Sheriff Phil Reynolds

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
July
18
Thursday

Never Forgotten

Never Forgotten Arkansas Takes Action artwork

8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Benton Event Center


Never Forgotten eventThe Attorney General’s office, in partnership with other law enforcement agencies and the Morgan Nick Foundation, will host the 8th annual Never Forgotten — Arkansas Takes Action event for families of missing persons and the law enforcement community to raise awareness of the issues surrounding missing persons.

The free event will include a morning session for families followed by a luncheon to recognize Arkansas’s missing.

Sessions in the all-day training sessions for law enforcement will cover material that will meet the requirement to fulfill newly mandated missing persons law enforcement training.

This program has been approved for 4.5 hours of Continuing Law Enforcement (CLEST) and 4.25 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.

For more information, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

Order copies of the Missing Adult Resource Guide online.

REGISTER

 8:30 AMVIEW 
July
18
Thursday

Baxter County Resources Day

Van Matre Activity and Wellness Center
1101 Spring Street, Mountain Home

Mobile Office
9:30 to 11 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff John Montgomery
9:30 to 11 a.m.

Identity Theft and Scams Presentation
10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

 9:30 AMVIEW 
July
23
Tuesday

Clay County Resources Day

M.B. Ainley, Jr. Community Center
536 East Elm Street, Corning

Mobile Office
11 to 12:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
11 to 12:30 a.m.
Prescription drug take back partner: Sheriff Terry Miller

Identity Theft and Scam Presentation
12 to 12:30 a.m.

Clay County Resources Day

 11:00 AMVIEW 
July
26
Friday

Sebastian County Resources Day

Fort Smith Senior Activity Center
2700 Cavanaugh Road, Fort Smith

Mobile Office
10 to 11:30 a.m.

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

Prescription for Life Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
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