Politics

Rutledge Announces $165,000 Judgment Against a Little Rock Unlicensed Contractor

Press Release

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced a judgment 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 completing any roofing or remodeling services. The judgment orders Hickman to pay $165,747 in restitution, civil penalties and legal fees for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and the Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA).

“Scam artists will often prey on Arkansans after severe storms wreak 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.”

Three consumers provided sworn affidavits claiming Hickman, doing business as HGH Development, illegally solicited them 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 must pay $130,000 for thirteen violations of ADTPA, $35,407.59 in restitution, and $340 for legal fees.

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 [email protected] 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 on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

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