LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge sent a statement Friday applauding the decision to dismiss a lawsuit against the State of Arkansas, filed by Jim Bakker and his production, Morningside Church Productions, Inc., which conducts business as The Jim Bakker Show.
In the statement, Rutledge says the decision issued in a U.S. District Court underscores her determination to investigate fraud regardless of its form or guise, and she cannot be bullied in her fraud investigations.
Rutledge said in the statement she has a separate lawsuit against Bakker and his production in the Arkansas Circuit Court under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act for falsely telling consumers that colloidal silver products would cure, eliminate, kill or deactivate COVID-19.
“Jim Bakker’s attempts to distract my office by filing a federal lawsuit failed. We will not be deterred from the important job of protecting Arkansas consumers from fraudulent and deceptive claims,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will not tolerate illegal schemes used by Mr. Bakker that directly harm Arkansas consumers financially or physically. Bakker has historically cloaked his illegal action in the name of religion, yet he continues to deceive Arkansans for his own glory and wealth by peddling unsafe and ineffective potions as a cure for COVID-19.”
According to Rutledge, approximately 385 Arkansans made a purchase from Bakker’s company totaling approximately $60,524 for colloidal silver products between January 1 and March 9, 2020.
Rutledge says in February, The Jim Bakker Show hosted Sherrill Sellman, who falsely claimed the colloidal silver products hawked by Jim Bakker were, “proven by the government to have the ability to kill every pathogen it has ever been tested on, including SARS and HIV… .”
According to the Attorney General, both Bakker and Sellman have received warning letters from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for selling unapproved drugs to cure or prevent COVID-19.
The FDA previously stated silver products are not scientifically recognized to be safe and effective.
Rutledge urges all consumers who have purchased products from Bakker or Sellman to call her office immediately at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.