Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

This week, I presented a resolution recognizing September as Florida Law Enforcement Service and Sacrifice Month to the Governor and Florida Cabinet. Our resolution dedicates this month to remembering and honoring fallen officers and recognizing and supporting the service and sacrifice of those who serve to protect.

As the wife of a law enforcement officer, I see clearly the daunting challenges currently surrounding those who wear the badge. Florida law enforcement officers are among the bravest and most selfless men and women I have ever known.

Now, more than ever, they deserve our support and recognition. Even as their health and safety became increasingly at risk, these officers, without hesitation, rushed to answer the call of duty—putting on their badge, uniform and a mask to serve others.

I’m proud to sponsor this resolution and join the Florida Police Chiefs Association and Florida Sheriffs Association in recognizing September as a time to honor our fallen heroes. As we honor and remember these fallen officers, let us not forget the immense sacrifices they made—laying down their lives for the citizens they swore an oath to protect. Most importantly, let’s remember to always thank law enforcement officers for their selfless service.

To read the Cabinet resolution, click here.

By supporting the brave men and women who swore an oath to uphold the law and protect our communities, we will build a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Ashley Moody
Protecting Floridians
Attorney General Moody Wins Big Tobacco Case Securing $90 Million for Florida and Millions More in Annual Payments

Attorney General Ashley Moody won a major court battle against big tobacco, securing millions for the state of Florida. The victory brings an end to years of litigation against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company over millions of dollars owed to the state through Florida’s landmark tobacco settlement agreement. Pursuant to that agreement, RJR and the other major tobacco companies agreed to make annual payments to Florida of several hundred million dollars in perpetuity. The annual payments compensate Florida for the past and future public health care expenses from its citizens’ consumption of the settling defendants’ cigarettes. After RJR sold several of its most iconic cigarette brands, it ceased making mandatory payments to the state for the billions of cigarettes sold under those brands every year.

The decision by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal to deny RJR’s requests for rehearing and certification effectively ends the legal battle and secures a one-time $92 million payment to the state, as well as an estimated $30 million annually for cigarettes sold under the four brands in question.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This monumental decision comes at an extremely vital time for our state as the coronavirus has taken a toll on Florida’s revenues. I am thrilled with the Fourth DCA’s decision and glad our talented team of attorneys were able to ensure monies due to the state of Florida will be paid in full and the defendants cannot shirk their responsibilities.” More.

Attorney General Moody Takes Lead Role in $60 Million Multistate Agreement with Surgical Device Manufacturer

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the resolution of a major multistate investigation involving 48 states and the District of Columbia resulting in a proposed consent judgment requiring C.R. Bard, Inc. to pay $60 million for the alleged deceptive promotion of transvaginal surgical mesh devices. Attorney General Moody served in a leading role on the multistate executive committee conducting the nationwide investigation and settlement negotiations. This is the second major case that the Florida Attorney General’s Office has pursued against a mesh manufacturer. The first case, against Johnson & Johnson and its wholly-owned subsidiary Ethicon, Inc., resulted in a $116 million settlement with strong injunctive terms to stop this tragic conduct.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Undergoing a surgical procedure is a scary and often painful time for anyone. I cannot imagine the grief endured by post-op patients expecting to heal and recover, only to be met with unexpected complications due to a company’s failure to properly disclose the risks of its devices. I am proud to have been a lead in this multistate investigation resulting in millions of dollars recovered and significant injunctive relief to deter and prevent this type of serious negligence in the future.” More.

VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Recognizes One Year of Dose of Reality Florida

Attorney General Ashley Moody recognized the one-year anniversary of the launch of the statewide resource—a one-stop shop of information and resources about opioid abuse. The site is designed to spread awareness to Floridians about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers and other opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl, and provides educational materials and resources for Floridians struggling with opioid use disorder.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Ending the opioid crisis is a daunting task and it’s exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing our state. That is why we are always looking for innovative ways to stop opioid misuse. Through this approach, was born. As the pandemic has forced more people to work, learn and socialize online, we are grateful this statewide tool is available and helpful to those struggling with addiction by providing information, resources and materials to them and to health professionals that can help break the cycle of the opioid epidemic.” More.

In the Aftermath of Sally, Beware of Price Gouging, Disaster Scams and Fraud

In the aftermath of the destruction and flooding left by Hurricane Sally, Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning those in impacted areas to guard against price gouging, contracting scams and fraud. Attorney General Moody’s Price Gouging Hotline remains open and accessible for consumers to report extreme price increases and storm-related scams.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Hurricane Sally brought destruction to property and the lives of thousands of Floridians. Sadly, these events often bring with them a wave of fraud and other types of crime. Anyone who steals from Floridians in this time of crisis will be caught and prosecuted. My office and local law enforcement will work tirelessly to protect Floridians, but citizens can help by taking steps to protect themselves.” More.

Attorney General Moody Meets with Medical Professionals to Discuss Fight to End the Opioid Epidemic

Attorney General Ashley Moody met with representatives of several Florida associations within the medical field to discuss the national opioid crisis claiming lives in Florida. Attorney General Moody and the medical association representatives met via GoToWebinar. Discussions focused on advancements in the fight to end the opioid epidemic, materials available to help spread awareness and how patients can safely store and dispose of unused or expired prescription opioids.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The perception is that opioid users make back-alley deals to buy illegal substances from shady drugs dealers, but today’s user is more likely to gain access to opioids from a friend or family member—either by simply asking or by pillaging through medicine cabinets for unused or expired prescription opioids. As part of this meeting we discussed resources for patients to use to learn about safely storing and disposing unwanted prescriptions and also how we can work together to spread the word about these best practices to stop drug abuse and save lives. More.

CONSUMER ALERT: Beware of Charity Scams When Giving to Help Hurricane Sally Recovery Efforts

Attorney General Ashley Moody is urging Floridians to use caution when donating to help those impacted by Hurricane Sally. As the recovery gets underway, charitable donations may be vital in helping restore the areas destroyed by the Category 2 storm. Attorney General Moody asks Floridians to take steps to ensure their donations actually reach those who need assistance and do not go to scammers using the crisis to steal from good-hearted donors.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Hurricane Sally ripped through the western part of the Florida Panhandle, leaving a path of destruction and flooding that will take some time to repair. Charitable donations will play an important role in the recovery efforts, and I am asking everyone giving to this worthy cause to please take steps to ensure donations go to those in need and not fraudsters selfishly exploiting the crisis.” More.

Attorney General Moody and OFR File Complaint to Stop Bullion Coin Scheme Scamming Seniors Out of More Than $180 Million

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a consolidated nationwide enforcement action alongside the Florida Office of Financial Regulation to disrupt a fraudulent precious metals scheme that has scammed seniors and vulnerable investors nationwide out of more than $180 million.

Attorney General Moody, OFR, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and 28 other states announced that a complaint has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas alleging that acted with a reckless disregard for the truth resulting in virtually every one of their investors losing the majority of the funds invested in fraudulently overpriced precious metals bullion.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Countless seniors and other vulnerable investors have been scammed out of more than $180 million nationwide through this fraudulent scheme of touting precious metals at grossly-inflated prices. In Florida alone, at least 60 consumers were victimized by this scheme. I am sickened by the way these fraudsters preyed on vulnerable investors’ fears of market instability and economic uncertainty. Even worse, senior investors suffered substantial losses from retirement savings by relying on the false representations made by the defendants and their sales representatives. I am confident that through our action we will put a stop to this fraudulent scheme that knowingly took advantage of our most vulnerable citizens.” More.
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody joined Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for a Florida Cabinet meeting in the State Capitol.

Attorney General Moody announcing a resolution recognizing September as Florida Law Enforcement Service and Sacrifice Month. The resolution passed unanimously. The Florida Police Chiefs Association and Florida Sheriffs Association were presented with the resolution following the Cabinet meeting.

Attorney General Moody meeting virtually with representatives of various medical associations to discuss ways to end the opioid crisis claiming lives in Florida.