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Rutledge Sets October Mobile Office Locations

Rutledge Sets October Mobile Office Locations

Thu, Sep 20, 2018

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

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and assisted nearly 1,000 Arkansans last year.

Rutledge believes in face-to-face conversations 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.

This year, the Cooperative Extension Service will be on hand at each mobile office to also provide information on the services it provides statewide.

Rutledge continues her partnership with local law enforcement across Arkansas to offer prescription drug take back boxes at each mobile office. Law enforcement will be at all mobile offices to 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:

Lawrence County

Thursday, Oct. 4

10:30 a.m. – noon

Lawrence County Library

115 W. Walnut Street

Walnut Ridge, AR 72476

Pike County

Tuesday, Oct. 9

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Glenwood Senior Activity Center

229 Betty Street

Glenwood, AR 71943

Newton County

Thursday, Oct. 11

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Newton County Senior Activity and Wellness Center

100 E. Clark Street

Jasper, AR 72641

Desha County

Tuesday, Oct. 16

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Dumas Public Library

120 E. Choctaw Street

Dumas, AR 71639

Sevier County

Thursday, Oct. 18

10:30 a.m. – noon

Sevier County Courthouse

Foyer

115 N. 3rd Street

De Queen, AR 71832

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

University of Arkansas - Cossatot

183 College Dr.

De Queen, AR 71832

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Rutledge Announces Prescription for Life Milestones

Rutledge Announces Prescription for Life Milestones

Tue, Sep 18, 2018

Says, ‘we are seeing Prescription for Life making a real difference in students’ perception of opioid use’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a successful first year of providing Prescription for Life to Arkansas students. Launched last September, Prescription for Life is a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse.

“I am pleased with the success of Prescription for Life’s inaugural year,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas has the highest prescription drug use by teenagers in the nation, and after this first year of the program, we are already seeing Prescription for Life making a real difference in students’ perception of opioid use. I look forward to watching this program expand across our state to educate teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse.”

Prescription for Life has already reached over 8,000 students in 76 schools across 55 counties. Using an evidence-based public health approach, the digital course empowers high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs. During the past year, students who experienced Prescription for Life showed a nearly 50 percent knowledge gain overall and displayed the highest knowledge growth in recognizing signs of potential abuse and misuse, and taking concrete action to help.

Rutledge is also collaborating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to coordinate a statewide viewing of the film “Chasing the Dragon” for students on Oct. 24 during Red Ribbon Week. “Chasing the Dragon” is a documentary produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration, which exposes the truth behind the opioid epidemic which is devastating communities in the State of Arkansas and across the United States. Rutledge encourages schools to register for the screenings, which features the true life stories and experiences of people who have dealt with the opioid epidemic.

Prescription for Life features a digital platform to help high school students in the State understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. The self-paced modular course uses video, animations, simulations and interactivity to deliver a personalized, self-guided learning experience. The real-life simulations demonstrate the impact misuse can have on students’ physical and mental health, relationships and future goals while the scenario-based exercises help students practice how to support other students in their choices regarding the safe use of prescription drugs. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards and State academic standards.

Earlier this week, Rutledge announced she is partnering with Association of Arkansas Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League, Stericycle, Nationwide Insurance, Walmart and EverFi, to bring the National Safety Council’s opioid memorial to Fayetteville from Oct. 3 through 9.

In August, Rutledge announced a new initiative, called #Rx4LifeStories, to allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families.

Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of early bird registration.

Rutledge also partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas.

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Rutledge Announces Three Arkansans Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud and Abuse of an Impaired Person

Rutledge Announces Three Arkansans Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud and Abuse of an Impaired Person

Mon, Sep 17, 2018

Says, ‘I will continue to hold those people accountable’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the conviction of a northwest Arkansas woman on Medicaid fraud charges. A Pulaski County man and a Drew County man have also been convicted on abuse of an impaired person charges.

“Erin Oliver took advantage of a vital safety net for many Arkansans and Jimmie Bradley and Nicholas Stephens took advantage of a Medicaid recipient,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will continue to hold those people accountable who abuse the Medicaid system and its patients. I will aggressively pursue and prosecute individuals who have committed fraud involving the use or misuse of Medicaid resources.”

Erin Oliver pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud in Pulaski County Circuit Court. She was sentenced to pay $71,857.60 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund and $1,000 in fines and court costs.

Oliver, 40, of Springdale, pleaded guilty to one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class C felony, for billing for services not rendered and at rates higher than those set by state law.

The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General assisted with the investigation and an attorney with the Attorney General’s Office was sworn in as Special Deputy Prosecuting Attorney by Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.

Jimmie Bradley, 33, of Maumelle, and Nicholas Stephens, 33, of Monticello, both pleaded no contest to one count of abuse of an impaired person in Bradley County Circuit Court. Both men were sentenced to pay $500 in fines.

This case was referred to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit from the Office of Long Term Care. An attorney with the Attorney General’s Office was sworn in as Special Deputy Prosecuting Attorney by 10th Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen.

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 oag@arkansasag.gov.

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Rutledge Announces Opioid Abuse Awareness Exhibit Coming to University of Arkansas in October

Rutledge Announces Opioid Abuse Awareness Exhibit Coming to University of Arkansas in October

Thu, Sep 13, 2018

Exhibit on display Oct. 3-9 at Arkansas Union in Fayetteville

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced she is partnering with the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC) and the Arkansas Municipal League (AML) to bring the National Safety Council’s opioid memorial to be on display at the Arkansas Union on campus at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville from October 3-9. The Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis is free to all members of the public, not just students at the university. Parents, grandparents and teenagers are all encouraged to walk through this moving exhibit.

The centerpiece of the multifaceted exhibit is a wall of 22,000 engraved white pills – each representing the face of someone lost to a prescription opioid overdose in the United States in 2015. Arkansas alone lost 401 residents to opioid overdose in 2016, and it has the second highest rate of opioid prescribing in the country – trailing only Alabama.

“I am proud to bring the ‘Prescribed to Death’ exhibit to the University of Arkansas campus because we are losing too many of our bright, promising young people to opioid addiction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This powerful display is a resounding reminder of the lives lost in just one year at the hands of this deadly epidemic. I will not stand idly by as Arkansans are devastated by the scourge of addiction. I am thankful for the willingness of our city and county leaders and local businesses to work collaboratively with me to educate Arkansans so that together we will save lives in our communities.”

“Education about the dangers of opioids has been at the heart of the AAC’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in Arkansas. The AAC is honored to collaborate with Attorney General Rutledge, the Arkansas Municipal League, and other sponsors to bring the ‘Prescribed to Death’ memorial to Arkansas. We can share statistics, but many people are visual learners. I believe people will be profoundly affected when they see this representation of the number of lives that are lost to opioid overdoses each year in our country,” said AAC Executive Director Chris Villines.

“The AML’s desire and assistance in bringing the ‘Prescribed Death’ memorial to our state, along with the Attorney General's Office and the AAC, is representative of our organization's solid commitment to correct and fully recover from Arkansas's opioid epidemic,” said AML Executive Director Mark Hayes. “We all have personal and very painful stories concerning opioids. The wall, and the lives lost to opioids that are represented, will serve as an incredible motivating factor in furthering our efforts to prevent, educate and effectively treat this epidemic that has plagued our state.”

“The most important thing about this crisis is not the statistics, but the faces,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “The data speak to our head but the individual stories speak to our hearts. The Prescribed to Death memorial not only brings visitors face to face with this everyday killer, but also encourages actions that will help us eliminate these preventable deaths.”

The National Safety Council launched Prescribed to Death as a part of the National Safety Council’s Stop Everyday Killers public education campaign.

In addition to Rutledge’s office, the Association of Arkansas Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League, the exhibit is underwritten by contributions from Stericycle, Nationwide Insurance, Walmart and EverFi. Visit StopEverydayKillers.org for more information. Other supporting partners include the Associated Student Government of the University of Arkansas, the Office of the Arkansas Drug Director and the Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System.

In August, Rutledge announced a new initiative, called #Rx4LifeStories, to allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families. Last fall, Rutledge launched Prescription for Life, a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. To date, it has been launched in 73 schools, across 55 counties and reached over 7,700 students with an additional 17 schools committed to launch the program this fall.

Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.

Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of early bird registration.

Rutledge also partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas.

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Rutledge Announces Arrest of Two Arkansas Women for Medicaid Fraud

Rutledge Announces Arrest of Two Arkansas Women for Medicaid Fraud

Fri, Sep 7, 2018

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of Crittenden County and Desha County women.

“Those who take advantage of the Medicaid program will be prosecuted,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer, I will not tolerate people who abuse this vital safety net.”

Tylisha Pope, 28, of Marion, is accused of forging a physician’s signature on the paperwork for two Medicaid patients in order to authorize services. Pope is also accused of billing for services not rendered from October 2016 to January 2017, totaling more than $3,900. She is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, Class C felonies. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Pope turned herself in to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and was released on $2,500 bond.

Shirley Owens, 62, of Dumas, is accused of being married to the Medicaid recipient to whom she was providing services while submitting billing documents for her services, totaling more than $10,000 for services she was not eligible to provide due to the marriage. She is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Owens turned herself in to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and was released on her own recognizance.

Both cases were referred to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General.

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 oag@arkansasag.gov.

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Rutledge Hosts NWA Law Enforcement Training

Rutledge Hosts NWA Law Enforcement Training

Thu, Sep 6, 2018

Says, ‘I am proud to be able to offer these trainings around the State’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted a law enforcement training event in northwest Arkansas. The free training and educational opportunity for the law enforcement community, including police, prosecutors and criminal justice personnel was held at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville.

“Law enforcement training is an important service I provide as Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am proud to be able to offer these trainings around the State to ensure that Arkansas officers are prepared and trained on a number of different situations to best protect our communities. I look forward to expanding these types of trainings in the years to come.”

Today’s participants heard from Drug Enforcement Administration Little Rock District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Justin King, Arkansas Department of Human Services Recovery Coordinator Jimmy McGill, Kim Arnold with the Arkansas Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Rickey Phillips with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. And from the Attorney General’s Office, participants heard from Deputy Attorneys General Chuck Harder and Will Jones, Nurse Investigator Vicki Jones and Special Agents Dane Pedersen and Michael Thatch.

Last year, Rutledge announced a new initiative to offer training outside of central Arkansas after the overwhelming success of the annual Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit. Trainings have been held in both northwest and northeast Arkansas, providing easier access to training for the officers. Registration is open for the 2018 Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit, to be held Oct. 2 at the Benton Event Center.

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