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.
Rutledge Hosts Retiree Resources Event in HopeTue, Jul 30, 2019
Says, ‘educating seniors and enforcing laws’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted a regional Rutledge Retiree Resources event at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope. The agenda included programs designed to educate retirees about how they can protect themselves from pervasive and vicious scam artists.
“By educating seniors and enforcing laws, we will stop scam artists from taking advantage of Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Face-to-face conversations are the best way to ensure people know about the services we provide.”
Attendees heard from the Attorney General’s public protection experts about protecting themselves from scams and identity theft, proper prescription drug disposal, resources regarding nursing homes and home care, and protecting finances.
Rutledge Retiree Resources have been held in Fayetteville, Jonesboro and DeWitt. Registration is also available for the Rutledge Retiree Resources event scheduled September 5 in Little Rock.
Rutledge Files Suit Against Company Selling Timeshare Exit PlansTue, Jul 30, 2019
Says, ‘good people were left with unwanted timeshares and thousands of dollars in fees’
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a consumer protection lawsuit today against Brian Scroggs, Bart Bowe and their Bentonville-based company Real Travel, LLC for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Rutledge has received 12 complaints from consumers who experienced deceptive, high-pressure sales tactics and failed to provide services valued at $136,310.
“Real Travel preyed on consumers who were desperate to get rid of timeshares that they no longer wanted or could not afford,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Sadly, good people were left with unwanted timeshares and thousands of dollars in fees for services not provided.”
Real Travel sold timeshare exit services to consumers nationwide. In exchange for a fee ranging from approximately $5,000 to $18,000, Real Travel convinced consumers through deception, high-pressure sales tactics, and a so-called “100% Guarantee” that it would liquidate, cancel, or transfer their unwanted timeshares. However, Real Travel failed to honor their agreements with consumers, leaving consumers burdened with the ownership of their unwanted timeshares, all the associated costs and fees and the additional unnecessary costs of Real Travel’s illusory services.
The Attorney General’s Office discovered 12 affected consumers impacted by Real Travel’s deception. Consumers reported trying to contact Real Travel to complete their timeshare transfer or obtain a refund with no success. According to the Complaint, consumer losses are valued at $136,310.
In Missouri, Scroggs and Bowe also operate Vacation Consulting Services and The Transfer Group, which have been the subject of several Better Business Bureau consumer alerts.
Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution for the affected consumers, and attorneys’ fees and costs. In addition, she seeks to permanently ban Scroggs and Bowe from engaging in the timeshare industry in Arkansas.
The lawsuit was filed in Benton County Circuit Court.
Consumers can file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling (800) 482-8982.
Rutledge Files Lawsuit Against Bailey’s SuperstoreMon, Jul 29, 2019
Says, ‘Bailey exploited an Arkansas mother who borrowed money from Bailey to pay for son’s funeral expenses’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that a lawsuit has been filed against Dennis Bailey and the businesses he controls: Bailey’s Superstore, Inc., Bailey’s Bottleshoppe, Brooks Bailey Enterprises, Inc., Bailey’s On Main, Bailey’s Pawn and Gun, Newsmart Liquor, The Executive, Inc., and Juke Box Saturday Night. The complaint was filed against Bailey and his businesses under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act for his illegal use of the criminal court system to collect debts.
“Bailey and his businesses illegally took advantage of vulnerable Arkansans who needed money to pay their bills or for emergencies,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “In one case, Bailey exploited an Arkansas mother who borrowed money from Bailey to pay for her son’s funeral expenses. These are unacceptable business practices, and I will continue to do the fighting for consumers.”
Bailey loaned large amounts of money to his customers, and as security for the loans Bailey accepted a signed blank check. When the debt was due, consumers could buy the blank check back for the cost of the original loan plus interest. If the consumer were unable to pay the debt on time, Bailey would add the principal and interest together, enter it as the amount to be paid on the check, and deposit it into one of his business bank accounts. If the check returned unpaid by the bank, Bailey turned those checks over to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for enforcement under Arkansas’s Hot Check Law despite the law’s clear prohibition against its use for collection of pre-existing debts. In Fordyce, when consumers do not repay Bailey’s loans on time, consumers can go to jail if convicted.
Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution, attorneys’ fees, costs and other injunctive relief against Bailey and companies.
Victims of these business practices should contact the Attorney General’s office to file a consumer complaint at (800) 482-8982 or go to ArkansasAG.gov.