Rutledge files suit against unlicensed Little Rock contractor

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Says, ‘Scam artists will often prey on Arkansans after a storm wreaks havoc on our communities’

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general speaks to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. A bipartisan coalition of 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia said Monday it is investigating whether Google’s search and advertising business is engaged in monopolistic behavior. It follows a Friday announcement of a similar multistate probe targeting Facebook. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed a lawsuit against Little Rock resident, Howard Gene Hickman, an unlicensed contractor, and his entity HGH Development LLC, for unlawfully misrepresenting services and taking more than $20,000 in fees from consumers without providing any roofing or remodeling services. Rutledge’s complaint alleges Hickman has violated several provisions of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and the Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA).

“Scam artists will often prey on Arkansans after a storm wreaks havoc on our communities and homes,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Together, we are fighting back against these bad actors to keep them from causing more financial loss and heartache.”

Consumer complaints filed with Rutledge’s office claim Hickman, doing business as HGH Development, illegally solicited three victims for roofing repairs and replacement services. After receiving a deposit from each of the victims, Hickman quickly cashed the checks, but failed to complete the work on the proposed agreements or return consumers’ money.

Hickman faces up to $10,000 fines for each violation of the ADTPA.

Hickman was previously arrested for multiple felony thefts of property and services related to construction projects. He was released on parole from prison in 2016.

For more tips to help avoid falling victim to bad actors, or to file a consumer-related claim with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, call (800) 482-8982, email consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves as Chairwoman of the National Association of Attorneys General Southern Region and re-established and co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture. As the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, she remains active on the Executive Board.

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