Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
Military service members and veterans have put their lives on the line to defend our country with courage and valor. As we observe National Veterans and Military Families Month, I encourage all Floridians to take the time to thank and honor our service members and veterans, as well as their families, who sacrifice so much daily.
I believe we have a duty to protect our patriots. I am fully committed to helping Florida’s more than 1.5 million service members and veterans guard against scammers trying to exploit them. The Attorney General’s Office has many great resources available that aim to educate our military community on scams, as well as representatives standing ready to assist them.
Our office provides military members and their families beneficial resources and tips about military-related scams through our Military Veterans Assistance Program. MVAP consists of a specialized team of consumer protection investigators, many being active or retired service members themselves, who work directly with service members and veterans to help resolve consumer protection issues. For more information about the MVAP team, click here.
We also recently added to our Scams at a Glance program with a Protect Our Patriots edition. Scams at a Glance aims to teach consumers about common and emerging scams. The latest Protect our Patriots edition focuses on military-targeted scams. To view the brochure, click here.
Earlier this year, our office issued the 2020 Military Consumer Protection Resource Guide that offers additional information about common scams targeting service members, veterans and their families. To download the guide, click here.
If you suspect a scam, please report it to us by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.
To every military service member and veteran, thank you for your service to our nation. We will do all we can to honor your sacrifices and support you whenever you need it.
Attorney General Moody Urges Veterans and Service Members to Use Statewide Legal Helpline
Attorney General Ashley Moody is reminding Florida veterans and service members that the Florida Veterans Legal Helpline is available to help protect against fraud, identify theft and other legal issues. Last November, the Attorney General’s Florida Military and Veteran Assistance Program and Bay Area Legal Services’ Florida Veterans Legal Helpline partnered to bolster ongoing efforts to protect Florida veterans and service members. With the recent one-year anniversary of the partnership, the Attorney General is encouraging service members and veterans to continue using the helpline for essential services and benefits tailored to protect our military community.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Our Florida veterans and service members deserve the quality and accessible legal support at any moment. This partnership provides coordination and improves efforts to best address scams, identity theft or other attempts that take advantage of our service members, veterans and their families. We will continue to stand up and protect our service members who would do the same for us.” More.
Attorney General Moody Expands Price Gouging Hotline to Cover Hurricane-Related Essential Commodities in Preparation for Tropical Storm Eta
Attorney General Ashley Moody expanded Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline to encompass essential commodities related to Governor Ron DeSantis’ declaration for a state of emergency for Tropical Storm Eta. The state of emergency is in effect for the following counties: Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach. Florida’s price gouging laws for this event apply only within the areas of the declared state of emergency and only for commodities and services essential to preparing for or recovering from the storm event.
The price gouging laws related to the COVID-19 emergency declaration still remain in effect statewide for commodities that relate specifically to the health crisis. Additionally, many counties remain under separate storm-related states of emergency as a result of Hurricanes Michael and Sally.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Going into November, many think we have cleared hurricane season, but 2020 is no typical year. There is now a declared state of emergency for Tropical Storm Eta, and many areas of our state could feel the impact from this storm. In preparation for Eta, I am expanding my Price Gouging Hotline to receive reports of extreme price increases on essential storm-related items. It’s important for Floridians to remain diligent and take necessary steps to prepare now should Eta strike where you live. More.
UPDATE: Governor Ron DeSantis has now extended the state of emergency for Hurricane Eta to the following counties: Alachua, Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hernando, Hillsborough, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota and Sumter.
The Attorneys General’s Price Gouging Hotline is now active for these 13 additional counties. Florida’s price gouging laws for this event apply only within the areas of the declared state of emergency and only for commodities and services essential to preparing for or recovering from the storm event.
Attorney General Moody Announces Arrest for Defrauding Medicaid Program Out of More Than $15,000
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with the assistance of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, arrested a Pasco County resident for one count of Medicaid provider fraud. Pamela Anne Peterson, a transportation provider for Medicaid recipients, allegedly defrauded the Medicaid program out of more than $15,000 by falsifying documents for services not rendered.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This fraudster logged countless falsified transportation trips for Medicaid recipients, ripping off more than $15,000 of taxpayer funds to line her own pockets. While the trips provided to Medicaid recipients were false, she now faces a real trip to jail.” More.
This week, on Veteran’s Day, Attorney General Ashley Moody encouraged all Floridians to take time to honor those who have bravely served in our country’s armed forces, including the over 1.5 million veterans that call Florida home.
We would not be the land of the free without their service and sacrifice.