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Urgent Warning About IRS Phone Scam

Rutledge Issues Urgent Warning About IRS Phone Scam

Tue, Apr 5, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today issued an urgent warning to Arkansans after her office received a large number of calls, reporting scam artists are posing as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) demanding payment immediately and threatening arrest if payment is not received.

“The IRS is never going to call you unsolicited,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The IRS will send you letter on top of letter. This is a common scam that is hitting more and more Arkansans the closer it gets to tax day.”

Rutledge says that these con artists are now using robocalls, which allows them to reach a higher number of consumers, while purporting to be the IRS.

Arkansans need to remember the IRS will never call and demand payment, require taxes be paid in a certain way, ask for credit or debit card numbers or threaten to bring police or other agencies to make an arrest for unpaid taxes.

The IRS strongly recommends Arkansans who receive these threatening calls not give out any personal information and hang up immediately, contact the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484 to report the call and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The agency also requests that any scam emails be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.

The IRS encourages Arkansans with any questions about owed taxes to contact their office directly at (800) 829-1040.

For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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Claims Against Two Bogus Cancer Charities

Rutledge Settles Claims Against Two Bogus Cancer Charities

Fri, Apr 1, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and agencies from 49 other states, have obtained a permanent injunction to dissolve two nationwide fake cancer charities and ban their leadership from profiting from any charity fundraising in the future.

“Thousands of Arkansans give to charitable causes each year,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Sadly, scammers like Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services and their leadership deprive legitimate charities of the support they desperately need, and that is why I am proud that this action, along with the settlement announced last May, shuts down these bogus charities and places a lifetime ban on their leadership from working with or for other nonprofits. Arkansans deserve honesty, and I am going to hold those accountable who lie and cheat.”

Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CFA), Cancer Support Services Inc. (CSS) and their leader, James Reynolds Sr., agreed to settle accusations that CFA and CSS claimed to help cancer patients, but they spent the overwhelming majority of donations on their operators, families and friends, and fundraisers.

Under the terms of the settlement, CFA and CSS will be permanently closed and their assets liquidated. Reynolds is banned from profiting from charity fundraising and nonprofit work and from serving as a charity’s director or trustee or otherwise managing charitable assets. He is also prohibited from making misrepresentations about goods or services and violating the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and State laws.

The order imposes a judgment against CFA, CSS and Reynolds, jointly and severally, of $75,825,653, the amount consumers donated to CFA and CSS between 2008 and 2012. The judgment against CFA and CSS will be partially satisfied via liquidation of their assets. The judgment against Reynolds will be suspended upon surrender of certain artwork, two pistols and sale of a pontoon boat. The full judgment will become due immediately if he is found to have misrepresented his financial condition.

The other defendants in the case were CFA’s and CSS’s chief financial officer; CSS’s former president, Kyle Effler; Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CCFOA) and its president and executive director, Rose Perkins; and The Breast Cancer Society Inc. (BCS) and its executive director and former president, James Reynolds II. Under settlement orders, Effler, Perkins and Reynolds II are also banned from fundraising, charity management and oversight of charitable assets, and CCFOA and BCS are in receivership and will be dissolved after their assets are liquidated.

The complaint, filed in May 2015, targeted four sham charities run by Reynolds and his family members that allegedly schemed more than $187 million from unsuspecting donors. CFA and CSS were responsible for more than $75 million of that amount. The other two sham charities settled in May 2015 with Rutledge and others. The settlement announced today concludes the largest joint enforcement action ever undertaken by the FTC and state charity regulators.

Whatever the donation, Arkansans should do their research before donating to make sure the charitable contributions are assisting those intended. To find out more about a specific charity please visit the Attorney General’s charities database.

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Medicaid Fraud Arrest of Oklahoma Man

Rutledge Announces Medicaid Fraud Arrest of Oklahoma Man

Fri, Apr 1, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of an Oklahoma man by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Shawn Howard, 45, of Pocola, Oklahoma, was arrested on one count of Medicaid fraud. He is accused of billing for services not rendered between August 2014 and February 2015, totaling at least $2,500, a Class B felony.

Howard is currently being held in the Newton County jail, awaiting a transfer to the Arkansas Department of Correction, after pleading guilty for a murder last year related to the care of a Fort Smith Medicaid recipient.

The Attorney General’s office conducted the Medicaid fraud investigation in cooperation with the Office of the 12th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue, the Office of the 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley and the Fort Smith Police Department.

Medicaid fraud occurs when Medicaid providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money for which they are not entitled.

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Intervention Request to Stop FCC Order

Court Grants Rutledge’s Intervention Request to Stop FCC Order

Thu, Mar 31, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been granted by the D.C. Circuit. The lawsuit, which was brought by the State of Oklahoma, challenges an FCC order that would effectively limit the amount of money that Arkansas and other local units of government may recover from Inmate Calling Systems (ICS).

“It is important for Arkansas to add its voice in strong opposition to the FCC’s order,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By being a part of this litigation, I will work to ensure that local budgets and law enforcement agencies across this State are not burdened with a costly, unlawful order from the federal government. I am confident that in the end the Courts will invalidate this order, which failed to consider cost permanently.”

On March 7, the D.C. Circuit granted in part a motion to stay the order.

The FCC’s order, which caps rates and limits fees for ICS, ignores significant ICS- and security-related costs borne by the states and their need to recoup these costs from ICS providers.

The FCC caps inmate calls at 11 cents per minute for all local and long distance calls from state and federal prisons. In jails, prices will range from 14 cents to 22 cents per minute, depending on the size of the institution. The new cap accounts for a more than 50 percent decrease from previous limits. Additionally, in a constitutionally-suspect power grab, the new caps will apply to all intrastate calls, not just interstate calls.

Rutledge, along with Attorneys General from Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri, filed the motion to intervene last month.

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Mobile Office Locations for April

Rutledge Announces Mobile Office Locations for April

Tue, Mar 29, 2016

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

Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Last year, office hours were held in all 75 counties, marking the first time that the Attorney General’s office has held office hours in each county across the State. Since January, 17 mobile offices have been held in an effort to once again travel to all 75 counties.

The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will also be available to answer questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents. Attorney General Rutledge believes there is no issue too small for her staff to have a face-to-face conversation.

Attorney General Rutledge recently expanded the services offered at mobile offices to include Prescription Drug Take Back boxes. Rutledge is partnering with local law enforcement agencies across the State who will 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:

Scott County

Monday, April 4

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Scott County Senior Citizens Center

1508 Clyde Hawkins Drive

Waldron, AR 72958

Crawford County

Tuesday, April 5

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Van Buren Senior Activity Center

607 Knox St.

Van Buren, AR 72956

Woodruff County

Thursday, April 7

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

St. Bernards Woodruff County Senior Life Center

303 Cache St.

Patterson, AR 72123

Baxter County

Monday, April 11

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Van Matre Senior Activity and Wellness Center

1101 Spring St.

Mountain Home, AR 72653

Stone County

Tuesday, April 12

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Mountain View Senior Center

210 School Ave.

Mountain View, AR 72560

Garland County

Thursday, April 14

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Hot Springs Senior Center

210 Woodbine St.

Hot Springs, AR 71901

Newton County

Monday, April 18

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Newton County Senior Activity and Wellness Center

100 Clark St.

Jasper, AR 72641

Boone County

Thursday, April 21

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Harrison City Hall

114 S. Spring St.

Harrison, AR 72601

Chicot County

Monday, April 25

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lakeside Apartments

628 Mulberry St.

Lake Village, AR 71653

Desha County

Tuesday, April 26

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Southeast Arkansas Regional Library – McGehee Branch

211 N. Fourth St.

McGehee, AR 71654

Lee County

Thursday, April 28

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lee County Library

77 W. Main St.

Marianna, AR 72360

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Defends Law to Protect Arkansas Patients

Rutledge Successfully Defends Law to Protect Arkansas Patients

Tue, Mar 29, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge earlier this month prevailed in a case, Baptist Health Systems v. Rutledge, that kept in place Act 766 of 2013, also known as the Arkansas Peer Review Fairness Act. The State Supreme Court agreed in a 5-2 decision with Rutledge’s request not to consider the Act’s constitutionality because the three hospitals challenging it had not alleged that the statute was harming them and it would be inappropriate for the Court to offer judgment.

“This was an important case to ensure that Arkansans receive the highest quality health care,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Act 766, which was duly passed by the General Assembly, is a proper way to protect the peer-review process in the State’s health care institutions. Peer review is accepted as the most effective means of monitoring quality and improving patient care, and it is essential to preserving the highest standards for Arkansas’s health care providers.”

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