Rutledge Announces Arrest of Grant County Man for Possession of Child Sexual Exploitation MaterialFri, Aug 9, 2019
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of a Grant County man for downloading and viewing child sexual exploitation material.
Larry Lee Brooks, 32 of Sheridan was arrested and charged with ten counts of distributing, possessing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child.
After an initial search warrant was served at the Sheridan home, Special Agents with the Cyber Crime Unit seized a laptop, all in one computer, three Xboxes and multiple hard drives containing several sexually explicit files of children. The case will be turned over to the Seventh Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Howell.
Rutledge Urges Netflix, Amazon & Hulu to Self-Regulate Tobacco ImageryWed, Aug 7, 2019
Says, ‘a resurgence of tobacco and nicotine use by our youth and school-aged children’
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined 42 state attorneys general and jurisdictions in a letter to U.S. companies that stream movies and television shows urging them to adopt better business practices to protect young viewers from tobacco imagery in video content. The letter was sent to popular companies which include Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
“Due to the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, we are experiencing a resurgence of tobacco and nicotine use by our youth and school-aged children,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “When our children see these dangerous products glamorized by the Hollywood industry they are more likely to become smokers which creates a cycle of addiction that we have been fighting for decades.”
The letter urges streaming companies to exclude tobacco imagery from content designated for children, adolescents, families and general audiences, and to improve parental controls so that parents and guardians may easily restrict access to content with tobacco imagery.
A 2018 report published by the Truth Initiative and the University of California San Francisco found that popular streamed shows viewed by young people featured an increased frequency of tobacco imagery than shows on broadcast or cable television. The U.S. Surgeon General has determined that adolescents who watch content with smoking are more likely to become smokers.
The full list of companies receiving the letter include: Amazon Prime, AT&T (DirecTV Now; HBO Now), Cinemax, CBS Corp. (CBS All Access), Disney (DisneyNOW, Disney+, ESPN+), Hulu (Disney), iTunes (Apple), Netflix, Sony (Crackle, Playstation Vue), Starz, Viacom (Pluto TV), Walmart (Vudu), and Youtube (Google), along with streaming services expected from Comcast Corp. (NBCUniversal), Discovery (HGTV, Animal Planet), and AT&T’s WarnerMedia Service.
The 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) resolved lawsuits on behalf of 46 states and six other jurisdictions, including Arkansas. The MSA imposed health-related and advertising restrictions on tobacco companies and required the settling manufacturers to make annual payments to the settling states. The Attorney General is tasked with enforcing the obligations of the MSA and tobacco statutes that were enacted pursuant to the MSA. This enforcement includes operation of a certification process for tobacco manufacturers, ongoing quarterly and annual reporting, maintaining an Approved-For-Sale Directory, conducting audits, collection of escrow amounts and investigation or even litigation should violations of the tobacco statutes occur.
Rutledge Commits $50,000 for Use By the Arkansas Sheriffs’ AssociationTue, Aug 6, 2019
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge committed $50,000 for use by the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association. The transfer of funds was made available because of Act 876 of 2019, which appropriates law enforcement grants through the Rural Services Division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Rutledge issued the following statement after speaking to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association.
“Our law enforcement officers go above and beyond the call of duty everyday and I am committed to providing them the resources they need,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I cannot thank our law enforcement and their families enough for their time and sacrifice. I encourage all Arkansans to continually pray for their safety and protection as they serve a higher calling and work to make our state an even better place to live.”
Rutledge Files Suit Against Central Arkansas LandlordMon, Aug 5, 2019
Says, ‘brazen disregard for the health and safety of his tenants’
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed a suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Imran Bohra and his company, Entropy Systems, Inc., for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
“This lawsuit was necessary to combat Bohra’s brazen disregard for the health and safety of his tenants,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is unacceptable that Bohra refuses to address numerous housing code violations, yet he is still determined to lease homes with serious structural and safety issues to Arkansans, who simply want affordable and safe housing.”
From 2016 to January 2019, Bohra was cited with over 160 violations by the Little Rock and North Little Rock code enforcement.
The complaint, filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court, is seeking an injunction, an order imposing civil penalties, the suspension or forfeiture of franchises, corporate charters, licenses, permits and authorizations to do business in Arkansas.
Arkansans who have questions or would like to file a consumer complaint should contact the office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.
Rutledge Launches Statewide Public Service Announcement on RobocallsMon, Aug 5, 2019
Says, ‘too many Arkansans lose their life savings to an overseas con’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today launched a statewide public service announcement addressing robocalls, a top issue impacting Arkansans. Rutledge has been leading the effort nationally and in Arkansas to combat robocalls and spoofing calls to stop con artists from scamming consumers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Every person in the State is sick and tired of the never ending robocalls,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Robocallers and scam calls make everyone angry, and sadly, too many Arkansans lose their life savings to an overseas con. I’m committed more than ever to do everything in my power to stop these calls and hold these scammers accountable.”
Rutledge has been leading the charge in the fight to combat incessant robocalls by demanding that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) require the telephone carriers to aggressively block illegal robocalls before they reach consumers. In June, the FCC responded modifying rules to clarify that telecom companies may block calls from certain unauthorized numbers. Rutledge also expressed support for congressional legislation namely, the passage of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act.
In March, Rutledge worked with Arkansas state legislators to pass Acts 677 and 1074 of 2019, which fix stiffer penalties for illegal robocalls and spoofing. The law also requires telecommunication providers to submit annual reports to the Arkansas Public Service Commission to certify that all available and applicable technology is being employed to identify and block illegal robocalls and spoofing. The legislation was met with overwhelmingly bipartisan support and passed with no opposition.
The public service announcement can be viewed on various networks and cable stations throughout the State and can be found on Rutledge’s YouTube page.
Arkansans who would like to file a consumer complaint can email the office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.
Rutledge Announces Settlement with Fraudulent Hospice Care CharityThu, Aug 1, 2019
Says ‘preyed on compassionate people trying to donate to end of life care’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today a settlement agreement with The New Hope Foundation, Inc. The sham charity solicited donations through telemarketing and direct mail pieces using the deceptive name Hospice Support Fund. The New Hope Foundation claimed to provide educational programs regarding hospice services but little, if any, program services occurred.
“New Hope Foundation preyed on compassionate people trying to donate to end of life care services,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Fraudulent and deceptive businesses will not be allowed to take advantage of generous Arkansans.”
In the settlement agreement with New Hope, its officers and directors, the organization must dissolve and two of its officers are banned from any future charity or fundraising activities. New Hope will also pay $11,023.50 in costs, fees, and civil penalties to the State of Arkansas.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge recommends these tips for generous Arkansans looking to contribute to a charitable organization:
- Be an informed giver. Research a charity’s ratings on a trusted watchdog website like BBB Wise Giving Alliance; GuideStar; Charity Navigator; or Charity Watch. Make sure the charity is registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
- Watch out for similar sounding names. Scam artists often try to take advantage of names that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate charities.
- Use secure payment methods when donating to a charity. Never donate using gift cards, wire transfers or other untraceable methods of payment.
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.