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Rutledge Recognizes National Consumer Protection Week

Rutledge Recognizes National Consumer Protection Week

Mon, Mar 5, 2018

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the below statement recognizing National Consumer Protection Week 2018, which runs March 4-10.

“Consumer Protection Week is an important opportunity to shed light on the complaints and scams commonly faced by Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Over the last year, my office resolved 7,229 formal complaints for Arkansas Consumers and one of my top priorities remains protecting Arkansans from bad business practices and harmful scams. Arkansans who have been wronged by a business should contact my office to file a complaint, receive guidance or have a mediator assist them – we want to do the fighting for you.”

Rutledge meets with Arkansans in every county yearly to engage in face-to-face conversations, which enhance the office’s ability to effectively handle constituent inquiries. Additionally, the Attorney General has held mobile offices with consumer trainings and prescription drug take-backs in all 75 counties in 2015, 2016 and 2017, assisting nearly 1,000 people in person in their hometowns in 2017.

Since taking office, the Attorney General’s office has provided 852 education/outreach presentations to over 54,000 Arkansans, including 16 webcasts. Programs include: Digital You, internet safety for parents, seniors and teens; Break the Cycle, dating violence prevention; consumer outreach presentations on identifying scams and preventing ID theft; and Prescription for Life, a digital curriculum for high school students and presentations to community groups, parents and senior citizens.

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.

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Rutledge Announces Arrest of a Phillips County Man

Rutledge Announces Arrest of a Phillips County Man

Mon, Mar 5, 2018

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of a Phillips County man.

Dr. Thomas Bailey, 52, of Lexa turned himself into the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. He is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony, one count of healthcare fraud, also a Class B felony and one count of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, a Class Y felony. He appeared in Pulaski County District Court and was released on $5,000 bond.

Bailey’s arrest follows the apprehension of Pearlie Bailey, 63, of Hollandale, Mississippi, Charline Brandon, 61, of Cleveland, Mississippi, Debra Stewart, 59 of Helena-West Helena and Clotee Downs, 79, of Clarksdale, Mississippi.

The five are accused of fraudulently billing for services not rendered and for providing false information for the purpose of requesting payment from a health plan, totaling almost $290,000 from March 2011 to January 2017. This case was referred to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by the Mississippi Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and is part of an ongoing investigation with 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 Announces Arrest of Northwest Arkansas Woman for Medicaid Fraud
Rutledge Attends School Safety Press Conference with Governor Hutchinson

Rutledge Attends School Safety Press Conference with Governor Hutchinson

Thu, Mar 1, 2018

Says, ‘student and school safety must be a top priority for all Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the below statement following a press conference with Governor Asa Hutchinson and public officials from across the state on school safety and security.

“Student and school safety must be a top priority for all Arkansans. As Arkansas’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, I will dedicate every resource at my office’s disposal to protect our schools and ensure that students are safe to learn, teachers are safe to teach and parents know their children are safe each day at school.”

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Rutledge Sets March Mobile Office Locations

Rutledge Sets March Mobile Office Locations

Wed, Feb 28, 2018

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for March.

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and assisted nearly 1,000 Arkansans last year.

Rutledge believes in face-to-face conversations to truly hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

This year, the Cooperative Extension Service will be on hand at each mobile office to also provide information on the services they provide statewide.

Rutledge continues her partnership with local law enforcement across Arkansas to offer prescription drug take back boxes at each mobile office. Law enforcement will be at all mobile offices to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Rutledge encourages Arkansans to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office.

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.

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Jackson County

Thursday, March 1

10 – 11:30 a.m.

Jackson County Cooperative Extension Service

649 Jackson 917

Newport, AR 72112

Calhoun County

Tuesday, March 6

10:30 a.m. – noon

Calhoun County Cooperative Extension Service

First South and Hunt

Hampton, AR 71744

Howard County

Thursday, March 8

10:30 a.m. – noon

Howard County Extension Homemaker Educational Center

425 2nd Street

Nashville, AR 71852

Cross County

Tuesday, March 13

10:30 a.m. – noon

Cross County Courthouse

705 E. Union Street

Wynne, AR 72396

Jefferson County

Thursday, March 15

10 – 11:30 a.m.

Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service

500 Idaho Street

Pine Bluff, AR 71601

Dallas County

Tuesday, March 20

10 – 11:30 a.m.

Dallas County Cooperative Extension Service

203 N. Clifton Street

Fordyce, AR 71742

Cleveland County

Thursday, March 22

10:30 a.m. – noon

Hall-Morgan Veterans Building

404 Sycamore Street

Rison, AR 71665

Madison County

Tuesday, March 27

10:30 a.m. – noon

Madison County Senior Activity and Wellness Center

903 N. College

Huntsville, AR 72740

Van Buren County

Thursday, March 29

10:30 a.m. – noon

Van Buren County Cooperative Extension Office

1414 Highway 65 S

Suite 137

Clinton, AR 72031

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Rutledge Files Lawsuit Against Indulgences by Body Bronze

Rutledge Files Lawsuit Against Indulgences by Body Bronze

Wed, Feb 28, 2018

Says, ‘despicable business practices will not be tolerated’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed a consumer-protection lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Indulgences by Body Bronze and its owners, Molly Verbrugge and Lila Riggs.

Indulgences by Body Bronze continued to sell VIP membership plans, spa service packages and gift certificates during the busy 2017 holiday season, but abruptly closed its doors on January 8 without warning to consumers or employees.

“After receiving about 200 calls from consumers mere days after the business’s closing, I am taking swift and aggressive action against Indulgences by Body Bronze,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans suffered financial losses because of the deceptive practices of this company – harming consumers who purchased future services and leaving its employees out in the cold without a job. Such despicable business practices will not be tolerated.”

Indulgences by Body Bronze was a day spa in West Little Rock and advertised services including pedicures, massages, facial treatments and laser hair removal. Rutledge is asking the court for restitution for affected consumers, the suspension or forfeiture of franchises, corporate charters, licenses, permits and authorizations to do business in Arkansas, to impose civil penalties and other relief against Indulgences by Body Bronze and Verbrugge and Riggs.

Victims of these business practices should file a consumer complaint on ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

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