Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
I am thrilled to report that this week the U.S. Congress passed the Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act. I was honored to lead a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general supporting its passage.
In May, I rallied a group of attorneys general in support of the SAFR Act to urge Congress to pass the important change to allow families of law enforcement officers who contract COVID-19, and die as a result, to receive benefits. The Act will permit the families of first responders who die or are permanently and totally disabled as a result of COVID-19, to receive the same federal benefits extended to first responders, or their survivors, otherwise killed or injured in the line of duty.
Sadly, Florida has already lost law enforcement officers to this deadly virus and no government action will ever replace these heroes, but with the passage of the SAFR Act, we can at least offer assistance and a bit of comfort to the families of the brave law enforcement officers who risk their health and safety to protect ours.
I am grateful to my fellow attorneys general and the U.S. lawmakers who supported this important legislation. I am urging all Floridians to please continue to support our law enforcement men and women and their families.
By doing so, you will help us build a Stronger, Safer Florida.
VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Names 2020 School Resource Officer of the Year
Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida Association of School Resource Officers recognized outstanding School Resource Officers from across Florida and named Deputy Jerry Hooks of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office the 2020 School Resource Officer of the Year. Deputy Hooks received the award at the annual FASRO Conference in Orlando for his positive influence on the students at Choctawhatchee High School where he works to protect Florida’s most precious resource, our children.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am thrilled to congratulate Deputy Jerry Hooks on receiving the School Resource Officer of the Year Award for his tremendous work at Choctawhatchee High School. Deputy Hooks goes above and beyond the call of duty as an SRO through his commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of students, as well as the development of projects and programs within the school. I am proud to recognize Deputy Hooks for this well-deserved award.” More.
VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Launches Scams at a Glance to Prevent Consumer Fraud
Attorney General Ashley Moody released a new resource for Floridians to use for protection against fraud as the state and nation continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Scams at a Glance is a new outreach program complete with a webpage on the Florida Attorney General’s website with information about common and emerging scams. The webpage also provides downloadable brochures designed to teach consumers how to avoid falling victim to fraud. The brochures and other information on the website are available in both English and Spanish. Scams highlighted include imposter scams, tech support scams and more. Savvy consumers can stop fraud in its tracks, but they must know what to look for.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “One of the lessons we are learning from the current health crisis, is that scammers are willing to exploit any emergency to swindle consumers. Throughout this crisis, we have been working hard to stop scammers and prevent consumer fraud. I want Floridians to have the tools they need to fight back and that is why Scams at a Glance is so important. The new program is a tool of knowledge against common scams so that Floridians and their loved ones will be protected as we continue to battle the coronavirus.” More.
Arrests Made in Senior Exploitation Case Following Tip to Attorney General Moody’s Senior Protection Team
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Senior Protection Team, Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced two arrests in a case involving the exploitation of a Florida senior. Authorities arrested Audrey Cody and Cody’s adult daughter, Deanna Baptiste, on charges of exploitation of elderly persons, organized scheme to defraud and mortgage fraud as the result of an elder exploitation investigation. The investigation began following a tip to Attorney General Moody’s SPT hotline.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “My office is committed to protecting seniors, working with our partners to bring to justice those taking advantage of older Floridians. The defendants in this case exploited a Florida senior—stealing more than $100,000 from his retirement accounts, life insurance policy and other investments. I want to thank the citizen who reported these crimes to my Senior Protection Team, FDLE for its diligent efforts to investigate the exploitation and my Statewide Prosecutors for doggedly pursuing these charges." More.
Attorney General Moody Secures Millions for Florida Following a Multistate Health Care Investigation
Attorney General Ashley Moody announced that Florida will receive millions of dollars following a massive multistate health care fraud investigation. Florida, along with 49 states, territories and the federal government, settled allegations of fraud against Universal Health Services, Inc. UHS is a for-profit holding company that directly or indirectly owns the assets or stock of inpatient and residential psychiatric and behavioral health facilities that provide services to individuals, including beneficiaries of various federal health care programs, and UHS of Delaware, Inc., a subsidiary of UHS that provides management services to UHS and its subsidiaries.
UHS is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and is one of the nation’s largest providers of hospital and health care services. The total value of the settlement is $117 million. Florida will receive approximately $3.7 million.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Health care fraud hurts consumers, increases costs for patients and rips off taxpayers. I am proud of our attorneys, investigators, partner states and the federal government for their roles in this massive investigation that has led to a multimillion-dollar agreement that Floridians will benefit from. Hopefully this aggressive government action will deter future fraudulent behavior aimed at taking advantage of state and federal health care programs.” More.