Rutledge Issues Statement on Federal District Court Temporary Restraining OrderWed, Jul 24, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following the U.S. District Court decision to issue a 14-day temporary restraining order against three Arkansas laws scheduled to go into effect today.
“The last minute attempt by the ACLU to block Arkansas’s laws is frustrating, but not unforeseen,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The action was only the initial step and I anticipate further action in the near future in our defense of these laws that protect the life of mothers and their unborn children.”
Rutledge’s Statement Following Warren Dentist Guilty PleaTue, Jul 23, 2019
Says, ‘appalling and unrestrained criminal conduct underscores our decision to charge him’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announces Dr. John Durmon, 59, of Warren, pleaded guilty to one count of Medicaid Fraud, class A felony. He has been ordered to pay $33,383.05 in restitution along with a triple penalty of $100,149.15 by Monday, July 29. He also owes fines and court costs of $2,500 and is suspended from the Medicaid program for five years.
“Durmon’s plea based on his appalling and unrestrained criminal conduct underscores our decision to charge him for Medicaid fraud,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We must stop this type of corruption with taxpayer dollars.”
Durmon submitted 2,557 claims for X-rays for 85 Medicaid recipients from October 2016 through December 2017. Records indicate Durmon had not properly taken, developed, used or maintained X-rays as required by Medicaid program regulations. Durmon was paid a total of $153,077.95 for the claims.
Also, Durmon submitted 637 claims for various dental services, including extractions, amalgam and resin composite fillings for 33 Medicaid recipients from September 2015 through December 2017. Records indicate Durmon charged the Medicaid program for those services, but the services were not provided. Durmon was paid a total of $33,383.05 for the claims.
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 email@example.com.
Rutledge Announces August Mobile Office ScheduleTue, Jul 23, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for August.
Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans. In 2019, Attorney General Mobile Offices have already served over 1,400 Arkansans.
Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations are the best way 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.
Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices. Another 167 pounds of medications have been collected so far this year.
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:
Thursday, August 1
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Pocahontas Senior Citizens Center
1505 Airport Road
Pocahontas, AR 72455
Tuesday, August 6
10:30 a.m. to noon
Alma Senior Activity Center
248 Collum Lane East
Alma, AR 72921
Thursday, August 8
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Mid-Delta Senior Center
553 North 7th Street
Clarendon, AR 72029
Little River County
Tuesday, August 13
10:30 a.m. to noon
Ashdown Senior Citizens Center
1321 Gordon Street
Ashdown, AR 71822
Thursday, August 15
10:30 a.m. to noon
Scott County Senior Citizens Center
1508 Clyde Hawkins Drive
Waldron, AR 72958
Tuesday, August 20
10:30 a.m. to noon
Franklin County Senior Center
222 North Vine Street
Charleston, AR 72933
Thursday, August 22
10:30 a.m. to noon
Champagnolle Landing Senior Center
910 Champagnolle Road,
El Dorado, AR 71730
Tuesday, August 27
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Mountain View Senior Center
210 School Avenue
Mountain View, AR 72560
Thursday, August 29
10 to 11:30 a.m.
West Memphis Senior Center
318 West Tyler Avenue
West Memphis, 72301
Rutledge Announces Settlement with Equifax for Historic Data BreachMon, Jul 22, 2019
Settlement to bring $2.5 million to State for harm to Arkansans
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a $2,521,481.31 settlement from Equifax for the largest-ever breach of consumer data, exposing the data of 56 percent of American adults. The investigation into the 2017 data breach found that Equifax’s failure to maintain a reasonable security system enabled hackers to penetrate its systems. Attorney General Rutledge and a coalition of 49 other Attorneys General, comprising 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico reached a settlement with Equifax.
“Arkansans trusted Equifax with their personal information as a means to track their credit scores,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We are holding the company accountable for its failure to safeguard personal information.”
The coalition secured a settlement with Equifax that includes a Consumer Restitution Fund of up to $425 million, a $175 million payment to the states, and injunctive relief, which also includes a significant financial commitment. The settlement fund for affected consumers will provide up to 10 years of free credit monitoring and identity theft services, and reimburse affected consumers for time and money spent trying to avoid or recover from identity theft.
Equifax has also agreed to take several steps to assist consumers who are either facing identity theft issues or who have already had their identities stolen, including:
- Making it easier for consumers to freeze and thaw their credit and dispute inaccurate information in credit reports;
- Requiring Equifax to maintain sufficient staff dedicated to assisting consumers who may be victims of identity theft;
- Restructuring its data security team and performing regular security monitoring, logging and testing;
- Minimizing its collection of sensitive data and the use of consumers’ social security numbers;
- Reorganizing and segmenting its network including employing improved access control and account management tools;
- Reorganizing its patch management team and employing new policies regarding the identification and deployment of critical security updates and patches.
On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced a data breach affecting more than 147 million consumers. Breached information included social security numbers, names, dates of birth, addresses, credit card numbers, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers.
Shortly after, a coalition that grew to 50 attorneys general launched a multi-state investigation into the breach. The investigation found that the breach occurred because Equifax failed to implement an adequate security program to protect consumers’ highly sensitive personal information. Despite knowing about a critical vulnerability in its software, Equifax failed to fully patch its systems. Moreover, Equifax failed to replace software that monitored the breached network for suspicious activity. As a result, the attackers penetrated Equifax’s system and went unnoticed for 76 days
Consumers who are eligible for restitution will be required to submit claims online, by mail, or by phone. Consumers will be able to obtain information about the settlement, check their eligibility to file a claim, and file a claim by phone or online. To receive email updates regarding the launch of the Equifax Settlement Breach online registry, consumers can sign up at www.ftc.gov/equifax. Consumers can also call the FTC at (833) 759-2982 for more information.
In addition to Arkansas, other Attorneys General participating in this settlement include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. Also joining are Texas, West Virginia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Rutledge Statement on the Passing of Stone County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike StephenThu, Jul 18, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today issued a statement in response to the death of Stone County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Stephen, who died in the line of duty.
“Today marks the end of Deputy Stephen’s watch and he will always be remembered for his steadfast commitment to safeguard his neighbors from harm,” says Attorney General Rutledge. “As the chief law enforcement officer of the state, I send my deepest condolences and prayers to Deputy Stephen’s family, friends and his brothers and sisters in blue throughout the state. The loss of our law enforcement in the line of duty is devastating for all Arkansans.”
Rutledge Honored to Host Kansas AG for Historic Never Forgotten EventThu, Jul 18, 2019
Rep. Rebecca Petty receives Star of Excellence Award; Kevin Metcalf and Russell White receive Morgan’s Choice Awards
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the eighth annual Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event at the Benton Event Center. The daylong event brought together a record 360 law enforcement officials and families of missing persons to raise awareness and recognize Arkansas’s missing children and adults.
“Every year families with missing loved ones come together to receive support from officials and families statewide,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It was an honor to host Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and to hear his words of inspiration that have helped guide his state in missing persons’ cases. Today is more than an opportunity to train and educate our law enforcement officials. It is a chance for all to gather and remember, give hope and support to those who have experienced the unimaginable.”
Kansas Attorney General Schmidt was the luncheon keynote speaker. Attorney General Schmidt has been a leading advocate in Kansas for missing persons cases, strengthening state laws against human trafficking and launched Kelsey’s Law – a bill that is named for Kansas native, Kelsey Smith, who was abducted and killed in 2007 – requiring wireless companies to disclose cell phone location to law enforcement officials in life-threatening cases. In 2015, Arkansas passed Act 405, known as the “Kelsey Smith Act”.
“I appreciate Attorney General Rutledge's invitation to share in today's important conversations about the efforts to find missing persons and reunite them with their families,” said Attorney General Schmidt. “As attorneys general, we have learned that there is great value in sharing ideas between states and finding ways to collaborate on issues that affect us all.”
Law enforcement officers heard from Washington County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Metcalf, who discussed cyber response in missing persons cases.
Officers also heard from the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office Special Investigations Department who discussed what the department can do to assist law enforcement officers searching for missing persons when cases involve internet crimes. In the afternoon, law enforcement received training from Arkansas Public Safety Secretary Jami Cook and Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy personnel on best practices for investigating missing and unidentified persons cases. The material covered fulfilled the training requirement for the newly enacted Act 920.
At the same time as the law enforcement session, a panel discussion was held for the families of missing persons on available resources to assist them with locating their loved ones. Participating agencies included Arkansas Crime Information Center, Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, Arkansas State Crime Lab, Arkansas State Police, FBI, the Morgan Nick Foundation, National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) and others.
A luncheon was hosted by Rutledge to honor the families of the missing and thank law enforcement for assisting in missing persons cases. The event also provided support and networking opportunities for families still searching and for those who have tragically lost loved ones.
During the luncheon, the Morgan’s Choice Award, named after Morgan Nick, who went missing in 1995, was presented to two individuals this year; Washington County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Metcalf and retired Alma Police Chief Russell White for their continued efforts in missing cases. The Star of Excellence Award was presented to Representative Rebecca Petty for her leadership in the passage of Act 920 which provided better training and resources to law enforcement in missing persons investigations.
In 2018, Rutledge launched #MissingPersonMondays, a social media campaign to highlight one individual listed on the NeverForgotten.ar.gov site every Monday throughout the year. Rutledge also published a resource guide that is available for families of missing persons to provide a list of best practices to help families work through this difficult process.
In 2016, Rutledge was part of a collaborative effort to launch NeverForgotten.ar.gov, a website that enables the public to access information on missing persons cases with an easy-to-use searchable database.
The Attorney General’s office serves as an information clearinghouse for reports on Arkansas’s missing children and acts as the main point of contact for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
To reach the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline, call (800) THE-LOST (843-5678).