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— LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today a settlement agreement with The New Hope Foundation, Inc. The sham charity solicited donations through telemarketing and direct mail pieces using the deceptive name Hospice Support Fund. The New Hope Foundation claimed to provide educational programs regarding hospice services but little, if any, program services occurred.

“New Hope Foundation preyed on compassionate people trying to donate to end of life care services,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Fraudulent and deceptive businesses will not be allowed to take advantage of generous Arkansans.”

In the settlement agreement with New Hope, its officers and directors, the organization must dissolve and two of its officers are banned from any future charity or fundraising activities. New Hope will also pay $11,023.50 in costs, fees, and civil penalties to the State of Arkansas.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge recommends these tips for generous Arkansans looking to contribute to a charitable organization:

• Be an informed giver. Research a charity’s ratings on a trusted watchdog website like BBB Wise Giving Alliance; GuideStar; Charity Navigator; or Charity Watch. Make sure the charity is registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

• Watch out for similar sounding names. Scam artists often try to take advantage of names that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate charities.

• Use secure payment methods when donating to a charity. Never donate using gift cards, wire transfers or other untraceable methods of payment.

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.

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