TOPEKA – (April 17, 2018) – A New Jersey man is permanently banned from doing business in Kansas after falsely billing several Kansas school districts for textbooks, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Robert Armstrong, of Franklinville, N.J., is permanently enjoined from doing business in the State of Kansas , including but not limited to submitting any claims for approval, engaging in consumer transactions, engaging in door-to-door sales; and from violating the Kansas Charitable Organizations Act. The consent judgment, approved last week by Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis, resolves a lawsuit filed by Schmidt in 2015. Armstrong was recently released from federal prison, allowing Kansas to resume its civil case against Armstrong.
An investigation by the attorney general’s consumer protection division stemmed from multiple complaints received from school districts across Kansas that received false invoices from Armstrong’s business, Scholastic School Supply, between September and December 2014. None of the 317 Kansas public schools that received the invoices had actually ordered textbooks from the company. At the time the invoices were being sent to Kansas, Schmidt’s office worked with the Kansas Department of Education to notify school districts statewide of the problem before they paid the invoices. Neither Armstrong nor his business are affiliated with Scholastic Inc., the well-known children’s book publisher.
The attorney general’s office alleged that Armstrong’s practices violated the Kansas False Claims Act, which gives the attorney general authority to file suit against individuals or entities that submit false or fraudulent claims for payment to a state agency or local government.
A copy of the consent judgment is available at http://bit.ly/2H6Ys1p.