Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
As Hermine moves away from Florida and life begins to return to normal, Floridians should remain vigilant about price gouging and storm related scams. Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals will use any threat as an opportunity to take advantage of those in distress—and that is why Wednesday, immediately following the state of emergency declaration, I activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline.
Floridians need to know it is illegal for businesses to grossly inflate the price of any essential items just because a disaster has occurred. My Price Gouging Hotline will continue to operate for all affected counties throughout the emergency declaration to assist any consumers who have concerns.
Price gouging is just one type of scam Floridians should guard against as we move through the height of hurricane season. Following a storm, repairmen are in high demand, making conditions ideal for debris removal and home repair scams.
If your home or property recently suffered water or tree damage, and someone shows up at your front door claiming they can repair the damage or remove the downed limbs, make sure they are licensed and insured. Obtain multiple estimates, check references and never give final payment before the work is finished. Read any contract in full, including the fine print, before signing. By providing my Hurricane Preparedness Guide, I hope to help consumers recognize and avoid these and more storm-related scams.
As we head into the long weekend, please check on family members and friends to ensure loved ones are safe, especially older friends and neighbors. Scammers often use disasters to take advantage of seniors who may not be able to remove even small debris from their property.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the impact of Hurricane Hermine, and I wish Floridians and our visitors a safe Labor Day.
Play Big Therapy Manager Arrested for Medicaid Fraud and Official Misconduct
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit announced the arrest of the supervisor of targeted case management services at Play Big Therapy for allegedly defrauding the Florida Medicaid program out of more than $12,000. According to the MFCU investigation, while supervising and billing targeted case management services at Play Big Therapy, Kim Jones, 53, also held full time employment at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
The MFCU investigation revealed that Jones allegedly did not provide many of the services billed to Florida Medicaid. Further, analysis of Jones’s DHSMV computer and time card submissions revealed that on numerous occasions, Jones left DHSMV after only a few hours of work but submitted time cards as if working all day. Jones’ Play Big Therapy service logs corroborated this activity. More.
Nilda Pedrosa, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Deputy Chief of Staff, is reappointed to the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission for a term beginning Aug 30, 2016 and ending July 1, 2020. Attorney General Bondi congratulates Pedrosa on her appointment and thanks Pedrosa for her service and dedication to the Florida Justice System.