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Rutledge Announces Over $300,000 Restitution for Social Security Fraud

Rutledge Announces Over $300,000 Restitution for Social Security Fraud

Thu, Mar 14, 2019

Says, ‘fraud on the backs of hardworking taxpayers is unacceptable’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a Conway County man has been sentenced to probation and to pay more than $300,000 in restitution for social security fraud.

Joseph Sensabaugh, 47, from Hattieville, pleaded guilty in October to one count of theft of government funds. He has been sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to pay $311,813 in restitution to the Social Security Administration, as well as a $100 special assessment fee.

“Social Security fraud on the backs of hardworking taxpayers is unacceptable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This case was the result of outstanding coordination between multiple state and federal agencies.”

In addition to the Attorney General’s office, law enforcement officers from the SSA-OIG, Conway County Sheriff's Department and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism contributed to the investigation initiated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and led by the Social Security Administration’s – Office of the Inspector General (SSA-OIG) through Arkansas Cooperative Disability Investigation (CDI) Unit.

Two special agents and an analyst from the Attorney General’s Office are assigned to Arkansas’s CDI Unit which began operation in October 2015 as a state and local cooperative effort funded by SSA-OIG. The mission of the CDI Unit is to combat fraud by investigating questionable statements and activities of claimants, medical providers, interpreters or other service providers who facilitate or promote disability fraud. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Bragg from the Office of United States Attorney Cody Hiland.

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Rutledge Announces Helena-West Helena Business Owner Guilty of Medicaid Fraud and Failure to Pay Taxes

Rutledge Announces Helena-West Helena Business Owner Guilty of Medicaid Fraud and Failure to Pay Taxes

Tue, Mar 12, 2019

Says, ‘Charline Brandon has swindled money from Arkansas for long enough’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that the owner of Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care in Helena-West Helena has pleaded guilty two counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of willful failure to pay or file taxes.

“Charline Brandon has swindled money from Arkansas for long enough and she is finally being held accountable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Her actions hurt law-abiding Arkansans who work hard and follow our laws.”

Brandon, 63, 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. She will be sentenced on April 9.

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.

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.

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Rutledge Begins Fifth Consecutive Year Hosting Meetings in Each County

Rutledge Begins Fifth Consecutive Year Hosting Meetings in Each County

Mon, Mar 11, 2019

CLINTON – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that, for the fifth consecutive year she will hold Rutledge Roundtables in all 75 counties to hear directly from Arkansans about their concerns and the issues impacting their community. Today, Rutledge has met with community leaders in Van Buren and Searcy counties.

“Meeting Arkansans face-to-face allows me to listen to their concerns and ideas so that we can work together on solutions,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “After all, Arkansas is just one big small town.”

Rutledge has hosted 306 roundtables since taking office with more than 3,200 attendees since taking office in 2015.

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Rutledge Urges U.S. Senate Passage of TRACED Act

Rutledge Urges U.S. Senate Passage of TRACED Act

Thu, Mar 7, 2019

Says, ‘The TRACED Act will further protect Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today urged the United States Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which will curb illegal robocalls and spoofing. Arkansas has joined the 49 other states and four U.S. territories in sending a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation expressing support of the TRACED Act.

“Arkansans are fed up with being annoyed and ripped off by robocalls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The TRACED Act will further protect Arkansans from falling victim to the high-pressure, relentless and often-convincing robocalls. This is just one step in my multifaceted approach to putting a stop to these unwanted calls.”

In the letter, the attorneys general state that the TRACED Act enables states, federal regulators and telecommunication providers to take steps to combat these illegal calls. The legislation will require voice service providers to participate in a call authentication framework to help block unwanted calls and creates an interagency working group to take additional actions to reduce robocalls and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable.

More than 48 billion robocalls were made in 2018, resulting in millions of dollars in consumer losses. The state attorneys general work to protect consumers in their states from being harassed and scammed by robocalls.

The letter was led by Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and North Carolina attorneys general, and was signed by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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Rutledge Applauds Legislation Approving Ballot Title Amendment

Rutledge Applauds Legislation Approving Ballot Title Amendment

Tue, Mar 5, 2019

Says, ‘The law will give Arkansans a clear, concise and fair process’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the below statement following the Arkansas Legislature’s approval of the ballot title process proposal that will head to Governor Asa Hutchison’s desk for his signature.

“Today’s final vote is a victory for all Arkansans,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “The law will give Arkansans a clear, concise and fair process to amend the State Constitution. This streamlined process will increase transparency by ensuring a public and bipartisan debate for all ballot measures proposed by Arkansans.”

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