NewsEvents

Rutledge Grants $1 Million for Personal Protective Equipment

Says, ‘If our healthcare providers are unable to care for patients, then exponentially more Arkansans could suffer’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced allocating $1 million for the State to acquire lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used by doctors, nurses and medical providers in the State to combat COVID-19. The money will be sourced from the Attorney General’s Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund, which consists of monies from lawsuit settlements and not taxpayer dollars.

“This shortage of personal protective equipment is putting our front-line healthcare providers at risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “If our healthcare providers are unable to care for patients, then exponentially more Arkansans could suffer.”

On March 20, 2020, Rutledge allocated $3 million, from the same funds, to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Quick Action Loan Program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rutledge also has been proactively pursuing violations of price gouging laws since the Governor’s March 11 emergency declaration. Letters were sent to Amazon, eBay and Walmart regarding their proactive measures to prevent price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraging them to take further action to stop bad actors from artificially raising prices on basic needs products during this public health crisis.

Rutledge has received over 500 consumer complaints as a result of Arkansas’s price gouging law which prevents individuals or businesses from increasing product prices by more than 10 percent of what the product would have cost prior to the state of emergency declaration on March 11, 2020. Violators can face criminal charges and fines as well as civil penalties of up to $10,000 per incident. Arkansans can report price gougers to the Attorney General’s Office at ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

Rutledge Allocates $3 Million to Fight COVID-19 in Arkansas

Says, ‘Small Businesses are the back-bone of our communities’

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced allocating $3 million to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) Quick Action Loan Program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will be in addition to the $4 million the Governor directed to the same program. The announcement was made during Governor Asa Hutchinson’s daily briefing on COVID-19. The money will be sourced from the Attorney General’s Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund, which consists of monies from lawsuit settlements and not taxpayer dollars.

“This money will be a lifeline for many Arkansas small businesses owners and will help to protect them from the prolonged economic hardships these local job creators are now facing,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Small Businesses are the back-bone of our communities, and we must do everything we can to help them during these unprecedented times. Uniting our efforts will not only help stop this pandemic and heal those who are sick, but also help jumpstart our state as we recover from COVID-19.”

Since the Governor’s declaration last week, Rutledge has been enforcing the price gouging laws in the State that protect Arkansans. Earlier this week, letters were sent to Amazon, eBay and Walmart praising the companies for their proactive response in preventing price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraging them to take further action to stop bad actors from artificially raising prices on basic needs products during this public health crisis.

Arkansas’s price gouging law prevents individuals or businesses from increasing product prices by more than 10 percent of what the product would have cost prior to the state of emergency declaration on March 11, 2020. Violators can face criminal charges and fines as well as civil penalties of up to $10,000 per incident. Arkansans can report price gougers to the Attorney General’s Office at ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

Rutledge Sends Letters to Amazon, eBay and Walmart amid COVID-19 Price Gouging

Says, ‘committed to working with online retail platforms to hold pandemic profiteers accountable’

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge sent letters to Amazon, eBay and Walmart which allow third-party sellers to offer consumer goods through online retail platforms. The letter notified the companies’ CEOs that Arkansas’s price gouging laws automatically went into effect on March 11, 2020, after Governor Hutchinson’s state of emergency declaration. The letter also praised the companies for their proactive response in preventing price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraged them to take further action to stop bad actors from artificially raising prices on basic needs products during this public health crisis.

“Arkansans have enough on their minds right now and paying exponentially inflated prices for basic necessities shouldn't be one of them,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am committed to working with online retail platforms to hold pandemic profiteers accountable to the full extent of the law.”

Arkansas’s price gouging law prevents individuals or businesses from increasing product prices by more than 10 percent of what the product would have cost prior to the state of emergency declaration on March 11, 2020. Violators can face criminal charges and fines as well as civil penalties of up to $10,000 per incident. Arkansans can report price gougers to the Attorney General’s Office at ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

Rutledge Urges Arkansans to Participate in Free Price Gouging Webcast

Says, ‘state of emergency triggering our price gouging laws’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced an additional free webcast training hosted by the office on Thursday, March 19. The webcasts will be an opportunity for Arkansans to learn from consumer protection experts about the recent price gouging concerns sweeping the state, all from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

“The Governor has declared a state of emergency triggering our price gouging laws,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This free webcast will allow Arkansans to stay informed from the safety of their own homes.”

Rutledge will be hosting the following webcasts for free to any interested viewers:

  • Consumer Protection: Price Gouging - Thursday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Missing Persons Webcast – Wednesday, April 8, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Freedom of Information Act Webcast – Thursday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. to noon.

Interested Arkansans can sign up for the free webcasts at ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

Attorney General Initiates COVID-19 Response Plan

Hot Springs Man Sentenced to Pay Back Nearly $160,000 to Social Security Administration

Says, ‘We must identify and prosecute those taking advantage of government assistance’

LITTLE ROCK – A Hot Springs man who collected disability benefits from the Social Security Administration for 16 years has been sentenced to pay back $158,061.90, as well as serve five years probation and eight months of house arrest. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge worked in coordination with the Little Rock Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit (CDI). Ron Hawley,44, pleaded guilty to Theft of Government Funds back in June 2019 and was sentenced in March 2020.

“We must identify and prosecute those taking advantage of government assistance,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “I am proud of convictions of bad actors like Hawley who abuse the system built to protect those truly in need. It’s convictions like these that ensure we have the resources for those who need it.”

The CDI determined Hawley had been self-employed since 2003 but concealed his work activities from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and continued to collect Title II Disability Insurance Benefits.

During the course of the investigation, Hawley provided false statements to the SSA regarding his medical impairments and work activities in order to continue his scheme and defraud the government.

Hawley was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham Jones and sentenced in U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas.

April
8
Wednesday

Missing Persons Webcast

10 to 11:30 a.m.

REGISTER

Presented by Mike Nance with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), the webcast will cover NamUs resources, Arkansas’ ACT 920, registering at namus.gov for NamUs professional access, entering missing persons into NamUs, searching NamUs, and making comparisons and resolving cases.

This training has been approved for 1.5 hours of CLE and CLEST credit.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
April
16
Thursday

FOIA webcast

Arkansas Freedom of Information Act
10 a.m. to noon

The webcast, which is free and open to the public, will include “FOIA Made Simple” presentations by attorneys in the Attorney General’s office detailing responsibilities and rights covered under the act that relate to public meetings and documents.

This training has been approved for 2 hours of CLE and CLEST credit.

Register

 10:00 AMVIEW 
July
16
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 9th 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.

Check back regarding the agenda, registration, and CLE and CLEST 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.

 8:30 AMVIEW 
October
6
Tuesday

Law Enforcement Summit

2018 Officers of the YearAttorney General Rutledge will offer free training sessions for law enforcement and recognize outstanding law enforcement officers from every county at the Benton Event Center.

Please check back for training and CLEST credit offerings.

The Summit is FREE, but seating is limited. For more information, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

Nominate an Officer of the Year

 8:00 AMVIEW 
November
10
Tuesday

Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will host the ninth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers.

This is 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, Arkansas State Medical Board and the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSouth School of Social Work.

Registration will open April 21.

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

 8:00 AMVIEW 
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