Rutledge Reaches Settlement with USA Publishing
July 7, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has reached a settlement with Conway-based USA Publishing and its owners, William and Kathleen Parker, to resolve allegations that the organization solicited funds from Arkansas donors on behalf of New Jersey-based National Police Defense Foundation. Arkansans were told these contributions would benefit the State’s emergency responders.
In the consent decree filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court today, the organization will pay $121,000 to the State to be distributed as reimbursement to Arkansas donors. USA Publishing will also pay another $50,000 in civil penalties to the State. The owners have agreed to cease all operations and will end all professional fundraising activities in Arkansas.
“It is troubling to think that an Arkansas-based company assisted an out-of-state charity with ripping off Arkansas donors, but that is exactly what USA Publishing did,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans were tricked into thinking that their donations were going to benefit local law enforcement and emergency responders. Con artists like this have no place in Arkansas, and the Attorney General’s Office will continue to protect consumers.”
In July 2013, the Attorney General’s Office sued National Police Defense Foundation and USA Publishing. The lawsuit alleged that National Police Defense Foundation contributed only $500 of the $231,004 it raised in the State to charitable purposes. The bulk of the money went to USA Publishing.
A settlement was reached with the National Police Defense Foundation in July 2014. The foundation agreed to pay $120,000 in restitution to consumers and to permanently stop all professional fundraising activities in Arkansas.