NewsEvents

Rutledge Announces Medicaid Fraud Arrests Involving Falsified Documents and Stolen Hydrocodone

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of a Cross County woman for Medicaid fraud and a Pulaski County woman for fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance.

Tamika Rucker, 35, of Wynne, is accused of charging for services not rendered and falsifying timesheets from February through May 2016. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Rucker was arrested. She is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class C felony.

This case was referred to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General.

Jill Riley, 55, of Sherwood, is accused of stealing hydrocodone pills while working at a North Little Rock facility in July 2018. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Riley was arrested. She is charged with one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a Class C felony.

“Medicaid is an important safety net for many Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will continue to investigate and hold those accountable who steal medications and abuse the system.”

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, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

Rutledge Celebrates Veterans Day

Says, ‘I humbly join Arkansans in celebrating our military service members’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement in recognition of Veterans Day.

“Today we pause to recognize the brave men and women who have served this great nation as a member of the armed forces protecting our freedoms at home and abroad,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I humbly join Arkansans in celebrating our military service members from every branch, along with their families. Their commitment has helped ensure the United States has the greatest military ever seen in the world and we are eternally grateful for their service."

Arkansans Turned Over 26,000 Pounds of Pills at Statewide Prescription Drug Take Back Day

LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Justin King, joined by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, announced that 26,529 pounds of medication was collected as part of the semi-annual Prescription Drug Take Back held on Saturday, Oct. 27.

“The Prescription Drug Take Back days are an important piece of my collaborative approach to combatting the opioid crisis,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By safely disposing more than 26,000 pounds of old, expired or unused prescription medications we are ensuring these lethal drugs are kept off the streets and out of the hands of our friends and neighbors.”

“The people of the state of Arkansas should be proud of their efforts during the recent Drug Take Back which resulted in the collection and destruction of 26,529 pounds of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge King. “Arkansas continues to lead other states in the region in the volume of drugs collected during Take Back, which is a testament to the outstanding efforts of everyone involved. We would like to thank everyone who participated in this critical event which makes our homes and communities safer, while raising awareness of the opioid epidemic threatening the people of Arkansas.”

Semi-annually a Prescription Drug Take Back Day is held with the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, DEA, FBI, Office of the State Drug Director and over 130 additional law enforcement and government agencies, community organizations and public health providers.

Event sites are held at various locations across the State but year-round locations are also available and can be found at ARTakeBack.org. The Attorney General’s office also hosts take back events at mobile offices around the State. Since the program began, more than 72 tons of medication have been collected in Arkansas, which is an estimated 201 million individual pills.

Rutledge Joins 21-State Coalition Supporting President Trump’s Energy Plan

Says, ‘Affordable Clean Energy rule returns power to the states’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced she has joined a 21-state bipartisan coalition in support of President Donald J. Trump’s proposed replacement of the so-called Clean Power Plan.

“The Obama-era Clean Power Plan was illegal and ignored concerns from the states about anticipated skyrocketing rate increases,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “President Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule returns power to the states by allowing each state to determine the best course of action for its own citizens, rather than a one-size-fits-all mandate from the federal government.”

The coalition filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing support of President Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule and believes it will respect the important 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, one-size-fits-all model that would have 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, includes costs, practical achievability and the useful life of any particular power plant. It also adopts a more individualized approach to rulemaking, including that the framework of any replacement must set achievable targets for individual plants, which is a stark contrast to the Obama EPA’s effort to shutter coal-fired power plants.

The coalition, in remaining consistent with prior arguments, expressed some concern and offered a solution for potential double regulation created by the Affordable Clean Energy rule, but otherwise expressed its support.

Arkansas joined the West Virginia-led filing with attorneys general in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, along with Mississippi’s Public Service Commission and Department of Environmental Quality.

Planned Parenthood Agrees to Follow Arkansas Law

Says, ‘After challenging this requirement for three years and claiming it could not comply, Planned Parenthood has finally agreed to obey this common sense law’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a motion in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to vacate a federal district court’s order preliminarily enjoining Arkansas’s contract-physician requirement. The State’s motion followed Planned Parenthood’s announcement that they will comply with the state’s contract-physician requirement after claiming for three years they could not comply with it.

“The removal of the preliminary injunction will allow Arkansas law to take effect, ensuring that women have access to reliable emergency healthcare following complications associated with medication abortions,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “After challenging this requirement for three years and claiming it could not comply, Planned Parenthood has finally agreed to follow this common sense law. Protecting women’s health and the unborn is an important Arkansas value that I will defend for all Arkansans.”

In December 2015, Planned Parenthood sued to enjoin the contract-physician requirement on the grounds that it could not comply, and a federal district court in Little Rock agreed, preliminarily enjoining that requirement. Arkansas appealed that decision to the Eighth Circuit where the court unanimously vacated the district court’s preliminary injunction. Last December, Planned Parenthood then asked the United States Supreme Court to review the case, and the Supreme Court—without dissent—declined. The case returned to the district court, where Planned Parenthood once again claimed that it could not comply, and the district court issued a new preliminary injunction. Arkansas again appealed the district court’s decision to the Eighth Circuit.

Rutledge Offers Overdose Death Investigation and Prosecution Training

Registration is open for the Jan. 23 event in Benton

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced a free training for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and coroners about overdose death investigation and prosecution. Rutledge is partnering with the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute to bring the training to central Arkansas.

“I am proud to bring this training to Arkansas to educate members of our law enforcement community about some of the more subtle signs of overdose deaths,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The number of overdose deaths in the state is staggering, but I am afraid there are even more not being reported because many people are unaware of issues that surround cases involving heroin and fentanyl deaths.”

Topics of the training include changing the mindset from accident to homicide, responding to and investigating drug overdose deaths, what evidence to look for, documenting the death scene, electronic evidence, witness and suspect interview techniques, search and seizure issues, legal theory and case development, intelligence gathering and sharing, officer safety when dealing with drugs like fentanyl, and case analysis.

The course will cover basic drug overdose death investigation techniques, discuss legal requirements and issues involved in drug overdose death investigations, address drug safety awareness particular to heroin and fentanyl, and highlight proper evidence handling and protocols.

Registration for the Jan. 23, 2019 event at the Benton Event Center in now open.

Attorney General Rutledge has been a leader in combatting the opioid crisis by using a multifaceted approach through education, prevention and litigation. Her first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and over the last year has reached almost 11,000 students. This week, the Attorney General hosted the annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit with record attendance, which provides training and educational opportunities for law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo, opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

December
4
Tuesday

Senior Scams Webcast

Dustin Etheredge and Lou Tobian with AARP Arkansas will cover the basic tactics that scammers use to manipulate seniors and how we can spot them. This webcast will give participants the tools they need to protect themselves and their families from financial criminals.

Chuck Harder, Deputy Attorney General in the Attorney General's Public Protection Department, will talk about recent enforcement efforts against companies that target senior citizens and the Attorney General’s efforts to inform consumers about their rights under the law.

Free and open to the public

Register today
 9:00 AMVIEW 
January
23
Wednesday

Overdose Death Investigation and Prosecution Training

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Benton Event Center

Because the number of deaths resulting from overdoses of heroin and fentanyl has surged in recent years reaching epidemic proportions, this new, free course for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and coroners will cover:

  • Basic drug overdose death investigation techniques
  • Discuss legal requirements and issues involved in drug overdose death investigations
  • Address drug safety awareness particular to heroin and fentanyl
  • And highlight proper evidence handling and protocols

Topics will include:

  • Changing the mindset from accident to homicide
  • Responding to and investigating drug overdose deaths
  • Evidence to look for
  • Documenting the death scene
  • Electronic evidence: cell phones, social media and more
  • Witness and suspect interview techniques
  • Search and seizure issues
  • Legal theory and case development
  • Intelligence gathering and sharing
  • Officer safety when dealing with drugs like fentanyl
  • Case analysis

Lunch will be provided. For questions, email oag@ArkansasAG.gov.

Register online today.
 8:30 AMVIEW 
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