Rutledge Announces Conviction of Independence County Woman for Medicaid FraudTue, Aug 15, 2017
Says, ‘Not only was the patient harmed by not receiving care, but this type of fraud harms the entire Medicaid system’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the conviction of a Batesville woman for Medicaid fraud. Karen Wilson pleaded guilty in Pulaski County Circuit Court and was sentenced to one year of probation and was ordered to pay a $600 fine and court costs. Wilson paid $2,061 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund prior to entry of the plea.
“Karen Wilson routinely signed timesheets, seeking to be paid for care she never provided,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Not only was the patient harmed by not receiving care, but this type of fraud harms the entire Medicaid system. My staff of attorneys and investigators are working to investigate and prosecute this fraud across the state.”
Wilson, 48, of Batesville pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud, a Class A misdemeanor. Wilson billed the Medicaid program for services not rendered from June to August 2016.
The case was initiated by a referral from the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and was prosecuted in coordination with the 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.
To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, complete the online form at ArkansasAG.gov, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or email email@example.com.
Rutledge Joins Brief in Support of the Display of the 10 CommandmentsFri, Aug 11, 2017
Says, ‘U.S. Supreme Court must weigh in and offer much-needed clarity’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined a 23-state coalition in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Bloomfield, New Mexico’s Ten Commandments monument on its city hall lawn. Earlier this year, a divided 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reconsider a three-judge panel’s decision upholding a district court’s order to remove the monument.
Rutledge is urging the justices to hear the case and decide in favor of the New Mexico town.
“Displaying the 10 Commandments, which many acknowledge as a significant basis for American law, is perfectly constitutional,” said Attorney General Rutledge. "However, this is an area of the law that is not being applied consistently and the U.S. Supreme Court must weigh in and offer much-needed clarity.”
Guidance from the Court in City of Bloomfield v. Felix is important because various circuit courts are using different standards to evaluate whether Ten Commandments monuments such as the one in New Mexico are constitutional. “Announcing a reliable metric for determining the constitutionality of these displays would provide helpful guidance to a large number of lower court, governmental actors and potential plaintiffs,” the state officials write.
The Arkansas General Assembly passed a law in 2015 requiring the installation of a 10 Commandments monument on the State Capitol grounds.
Led by the Texas Attorney General, Rutledge is joined in the amicus brief by the attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, along with Governor Matt Bevin of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Maine Governor Paul LePage.
Rutledge Announces Arrest of Little Rock Woman for Medicaid FraudWed, Aug 9, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of a Pulaski County woman.
Shavita Wilson, 46, of Little Rock, surrendered herself in Pulaski County District Court on three outstanding warrants. Her bond was set at $3,000.00 and she was processed and released from the Pulaski County Detention Facility. She is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony for making false statements of facts in applications for Arkansas Medicaid Program benefits totaling $14,899.98; one count of Medicaid fraud, a class C felony for making false statements of facts in applications for Arkansas Medicaid Program benefits totaling $433.98; and one count of failing to maintain Medicaid records, a class D felony, all between June 2016 and April 2017.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rutledge, Nationwide Insurance Reach SettlementWed, Aug 9, 2017
Arkansas will receive over $100,000
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, along with 32 other attorneys general, have reached a settlement with the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and its subsidiary, Allied Property & Casualty Insurance Company.
The settlement resolves issues that arose from an October 2012 data breach in which Nationwide allegedly failed to apply a critical security patch, resulting in the loss of personal information belonging to 1.27 million consumers. This personal information included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit scoring information and other personal data.
“Nationwide had the capability to protect the personal information of Arkansans, but it allegedly failed to act,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This action exposed the personal information of consumers to con artists and placed their credit and identity at risk.”
The settlement requires Nationwide to take a number of steps to both generally update its security practices and to ensure the timely application of patches and other updates to its security software. Nationwide must also hire a technology officer responsible for monitoring and managing software and security updates, including supervising employees responsible for evaluating the maintenance, management and application of all security patches and software updates. Additionally, Nationwide agreed to take steps during the next three years to strengthen its security practices, including:
- Updating its procedures and policies relating to the maintenance and storage of consumers’ personal data.
- Conducting regular inventories of the patches and updates applied to its systems used to maintain consumers’ personal information.
- Maintaining and utilizing system tools to monitor the health and security of their systems used to maintain consumers’ personal information.
- Performing internal assessments of its patch management practices and hiring an independent provider to perform an annual audit of its practices regarding the collection and maintenance of consumers’ personal information.
Many of the consumers whose data was lost as a result of the data breach were consumers who never became Nationwide’s insureds, but the company retained their data in order to more easily provide the consumers re-quotes at a later date. The settlement requires Nationwide to be more transparent about its data collection practices by requiring it to disclose to consumers that it retains their personal information even if they do not become its customers.
In addition to the injunctive terms, Nationwide agreed to make a payment of $5.5 million to the states of which Arkansas will receive $100,795.23.
The settlement was joined by the Attorneys General of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
Rutledge Reaches Settlement with Arkansas Funeral CareTue, Aug 8, 2017
Former owners can never operate in the funeral care business and must pay restitution to consumers
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has reached settlement against Arkansas Funeral Care and its owners for failing to provide funeral-care services in a timely, professional and respectful manner, and in some cases did not provide the services at all.
“Our loved ones deserve to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Regrettably, Arkansas Funeral Care ignored this responsibility and egregiously violated the trust of Arkansans. This settlement prevents the former owners from operating in the funeral care business and provides for restitution payments to consumers.”
The Attorney General’s office received numerous complaints from affected families in which Arkansas Funeral Care did not perform various agreed-upon funeral-care services, including: failure to provide cremation services, nauseating odor of bodies that were left unrefrigerated without being embalmed, failure to provide adequate staff to transport bodies and untimely receipt of death certificates.
Arkansans reported delays in embalming that caused extreme levels of decomposition to the bodies, resulting in some not having the ability to hold an open-casket service and one person reported that the cremation of her husband, a veteran, was delayed over three weeks and was not available for his memorial service.
Rutledge filed a lawsuit against Arkansas Funeral Care in January 2016 and stated that Arkansans entered into written contracts for chosen funeral goods and services with Arkansas Funeral Care based on advertised representations on their website, as well as other oral representations made during the sales process. The contracts detailed the costs of the funeral goods and services to be rendered at the time of need.
Under the terms of today’s settlement agreement, Arkansas Funeral Care will provide restitution to outstanding consumer complainants to whom the business provided services between Aug. 1, 2014 and Jan. 31, 2015 who have not yet received compensation. Arkansas Funeral Care has paid restitution to some consumers through the order of the Embalmers and Funeral Directors Board and in several private suits. Through the settlement negotiation process, the State was able to determine which of its complainants paid for funeral care services during the agreed-upon window of time, and Defendants agreed to provide restitution to those consumers. Consumers who purchased funeral insurance should be reminded that the insurance is portable and need not be used at the funeral establishment where it was purchased.
In addition, the owners of Arkansas Funeral Care are permanently restrained from personally, or as part of any business entity, operating in the funeral care business in the State, and the former owners may not hold any license governed by the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The former owners are also responsible for $10,000 in civil penalties to the State of Arkansas.
Rutledge Urges Trump Administration to Conduct Cost-Benefit Analysis of CFPB RulesMon, Aug 7, 2017
Says, CFPB rules have ‘pre-empted state law and made it harder for business owners to grow jobs’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has written to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Mick Mulvaney urging him to direct the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all recent and pending Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules.
“Many of the rules and regulations that have been promulgated by the CFPB since its creation have pre-empted state law and made it harder for business owners to grow jobs,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The OMB should ensure that regulations are consistent with applicable law, properly consider and balance the costs and benefits and minimize the unnecessary burdens. I urge Director Mulvaney to conduct this review as soon as possible.”
Rutledge, who met with CFPB Director Richard Cordray in Little Rock last summer, has previously expressed concern with the CFPB’s new federal standards for – and limitations on – credit lines, installment loans, deposit advances, automobile-title secured loans and payday loans, as well as the Bureau’s Arbitration rule. In March, Rutledge filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit arguing that the CFPB is unconstitutional and that Director Cordray should be subject to political appointment.
In the letter to Director Mulvaney, Rutledge notes that a 1993 executive order requires that “significant regulatory actions” be submitted for review to OIRA for an analysis on the cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment. “Significant actions” include an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, interference with an action or planned action of another agency, materially altering the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants user fees or other loan programs or raising legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates.
Led by the South Carolina Attorney General, Rutledge is joined on the letter by attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.