NewsEvents

Rutledge Announces Dumas Woman Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud

Says, ‘Shirley Owens took advantage of a vital resource’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a Desha County woman has pleaded guilty to theft of property by deception for caring for her husband, the patient, which is conduct that would make her ineligible to be paid by the Medicaid program.

“Shirley Owens took advantage of a vital resource by being illegally paid to care for her husband,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Medicaid is an important safety net for many, and what Owens did was take money and services away from another deserving Arkansan.”

Owens, 63, of Dumas, pleaded guilty to a form of Medicaid fraud involving theft of property by deception, a Class C felony, between December 2016 and July 2017. A Medicaid fraud investigation revealed that Owens and her husband, the Medicaid recipient had married in January 2006. She was ordered to pay $5,364 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund.

This case was referred to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and prosecuted in coordination with Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.

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 Joins Coalition Supporting New WOTUS Rule

Says, ‘Obama-era rule was never about protecting our water in a responsible way’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined 16 other states in submitting a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers in support of the proposed revisions to define the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS).

“The overreaching Obama-era rule was never about protecting our water in a responsible way, and their action had disastrous implications for Arkansas farmers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The proposed revisions return the EPA to its core mission of environmental enforcement, pollution mitigation and disaster cleanup.”

The comment letter from Rutledge and her colleagues is part of the efforts to repeal the Obama-administration rule which allowed the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to assert federal authority over a vast number of small bodies of water, including roadside ditches, short-lived streams and any other area where water may flow once every 100 years.

In 2017, President Donald J. Trump directed a review of the WOTUS definition. And in February, a new rule was proposed which would not only rescind the unlawful Obama-era rule, but would also promulgate a new definition of WOTUS which would restore an understanding that is faithful to the text of the Clean Water Act.

Rutledge is part of a coalition that helped secure a nationwide injunction blocking enforcement of the rule in August 2015, allowing the new administration to review the rule. She also testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in March 2015 urging the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the Obama-era rule because of the negative impact it would have on Arkansas farmers.

Rutledge joined attorneys general from Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah in signing the letter, which was led by the attorney general from West Virginia.

Rutledge Retiree Resources Event Scheduled for Jonesboro

‘How to Spot a Scam’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced an upcoming event in northeast Arkansas to educate Arkansas’s retirees about how they can protect themselves from vicious scam artists. The Rutledge Retiree Resources event will be held April 29 at the Jonesboro First Baptist Church for retirees from across the region.

“Retirees are a consistent target of scammers from across the world and these educational events are aimed to teach them how to spot a scam so they can protect their money and identity,” said Attorney General Rutledge.

Rutledge Retiree Resources events will be held regionally and are currently scheduled for June 25 in DeWitt and September 5 in Little Rock. Registration is now open. Attendees will learn from Attorney General office staff about protecting themselves from scams and identity theft, proper prescription drug disposal, resources regarding nursing homes and home care, and protecting finances. Lunch will be provided to all participants.

Rutledge Recognizes Crime Victims’ Rights Week

LITTLE ROCK – April 7-13 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to raise awareness for victims and the effect that the victimization has on victims. Victims of crime may receive financial assistance to cover the medical and funeral expenses incurred by the victim or the victim’s family. Communities across the country, including here in Arkansas, are hosting events this week to honor crime victims and recognize those who advocate on their behalf. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has also declared this week as Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Arkansas.

“As a former prosecutor, I have worked with victims of violence,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “And as Attorney General it is important for me to promote safer communities and honor the advocates who empower victims and survivors of violence. I offer my sincere prayers for protection and healing. I will continue to support and thank the countless members of law enforcement and victim advocates in communities across Arkansas.”

This year’s theme for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.”

The Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Program, administered by the Office of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on behalf of the Crime Victims Reparations Board, provides financial compensation to victims and family members who have suffered personal injury or death as the result of violent crime.

Additionally, the Sexual Assault Reimbursement Program allows evidence to be collected after a sexual assault has been committed without the victim bearing the burden of the expense, and it pays for ambulance services and medical or legal examinations.

Victims may apply for compensation by submitting an application to the Attorney General’s office. Applications are available at ArkansasAG.gov or from Arkansas’s 28 elected prosecuting attorneys.

In 2016, Rutledge unveiled Laura’s Card and has since distributed over 75,000 cards across Arkansas. Laura’s Card is a resource to assist and empower victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to provide resources to people in abusive situations. The card can also be downloaded in English and Spanish at LaurasCard.ar.gov.

Rutledge and Cotton Hold Roundtable to Tackle Criminal Justice Issues

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and U.S. Senator Tom Cotton held a roundtable discussion today with state law enforcement and criminal justice leaders, followed by a question and answer session with the media, to address issues at the state and federal level. Topics included the continued effort to combat the opioid epidemic and stopping the sale of lethal unwashed poppy seeds. Also discussed were Senator Cotton’s legislation to allow cell phone jamming in prisons and Attorney General Rutledge’s efforts to curb illegal robocalls and spoofing, which was signed into law Wednesday.

“It is always a pleasure to join my friend Senator Cotton, and work with him on issues that require leadership at both the state and federal level,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Today’s discussion gave us the opportunity to hear from state leaders on ideas to protect and serve all Arkansans. I look forward to continuing the partnership between our offices to make Arkansas a safer and better place to live.”

“There’s important work being done at the state and federal levels to curb serious problems like the opioid epidemic and prison contraband,” said Senator Cotton. “Arkansas is blessed to have dedicated law enforcement officials and public servants working hard to fix these problems and keep us safe.”

Today’s roundtable was attended by Arkansas Crime Lab Director Kermit Channell, Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute Director Dr. Cheryl May, Arkansas Department of Correction Director Wendy Kelley, Arkansas Department of Health Director Dr. Nate Smith, Arkansas Prosecutor Coordinator Bob McMahan, Arkansas State Police Col. Bill Bryant, Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Bryan Rorex, FBI Special Agent in Charge Diane Upchurch, Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Graham, Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery, Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue, and State Drug Director Kirk Lane.

Rutledge Hosts South Arkansas Law Enforcement Training

MONTICELLO – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted, for the first time in the history of the office, a law enforcement training event in south Arkansas. The free training and educational opportunity for the law enforcement community, including police, prosecutors and criminal justice personnel, was attended by about 70 officers and held in Monticello.

“Our men and women in blue put their lives on the line to protect Arkansans every day,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Today’s event is an important experience for the law enforcement community in south Arkansas to help them tackle some of the issues they face. I look forward to continuing to offer these trainings across Arkansas.”

Today’s participants heard from State Drug Director Kirk Lane and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Dak Kees. And from the Attorney General’s office, participants heard Investigator Shamikah Johnson, Assistant Attorneys General Jill Irwin and Marianne Satterfield, Special Agent Michael Thatch and Nurse Investigator Vicki Jones.

In 2017, Rutledge announced a new initiative to offer training outside of central Arkansas to build off of the overwhelming success of the annual Law Enforcement Summit. Trainings have previously been held in northwest and northeast Arkansas, allowing officers to have easier access to the training.

This training provided participants with 5 hours of Continuing Law Enforcement Standards and Training (CLEST) credit and 4.6 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.

April
23
Tuesday

Phillips County Resources Day

Helena Senior Center
407 Desoto Street, Helena – West Helena

Mobile Office
10:30 a.m. to noon

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Neal Byrd, Sr.
10:30 to noon

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

 10:30 AMVIEW 
April
25
Thursday

Logan County Resources Day

Booneville Senior Center
545 Heritage Drive

Mobile Office
11 to 12:30 p.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Jason Massey
11 to 12:30 p.m.

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

 11:00 AMVIEW 
April
29
Monday

Retiree Resources - Jonesboro

Retiree Resources

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Jonesboro First Baptist Church
701 South Main Street
Register

Senior adults are invited to hear presentations about:

  • Consumer protection tips
  • Home care resources
  • Identity theft
  • Prescription drug disposal
  • Senior scams
  • Telemarketing fraud

Lunch will be provided. For questions or to register by phone, call (501) 682-2007.

 9:00 AMVIEW 
April
30
Tuesday

Benton County Resources Day

Benton County Senior Activity Center
3501 Southeast L Street, Bentonville

Mobile Office
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Shawn Holloway
10 to 11:30 a.m.

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

 10:00 AMVIEW 
May
2
Thursday

Washington County Resource Day

Springdale Senior Center
203 Park Street

Mobile Office
10:30 a.m. to noon

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Tim Helder
10:30 a.m. to noon

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

 10:30 AMVIEW 
May
3
Friday

Independence County Resources Day

Independence County Senior Center
1590 East College Avenue, Batesville

Mobile Office
10:30 a.m. to noon

Prescription Drug Take Back
Partnering with Sheriff Shawn Stephens
10:30 a.m. to noon

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

 10:30 AMVIEW 
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