Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

With millions of Florida students beginning another school year, many of them virtually, it is imperative that parents help protect kids from online predators. This week, I released simple tips and resources to help parents monitor students’ online activity, block location tracking and begin a continuous conversation about safe virtual communications.

As a mother who has juggled parenting and a career throughout this pandemic, I know how challenging it can be to constantly monitor our children’s online activity and trust they are safe when they are spending so much time online. That is why I am reaching out to parents with tips and resources to help them protect their children from threats online as many students begin virtual back-to-school—requiring more time in front of a computer screen than normal.

I have seen cases involving human traffickers targeting children through social media, online games or popular apps to build trust and try to meet in person.

As parents, we need to take steps now to prevent this tragedy from striking our families, such as:
  • Limiting a child’s online activity to common spaces;
  • Being mindful about what they post on social media;
  • Never allowing your child to share their location online; and
  • Telling your child that if someone isn’t your friend in real life, then they shouldn’t be a friend online.
To access a printable resource with the above-mentioned tips to help parents better protect children from online predators, click here.

By taking measures to protect our children from potential threats online, we are building a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Ashley Moody
Protecting Floridians
Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution Files Charges Against Operator of Human Trafficking Ring Involving a Minor, Controlled Substances and Violence

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution filed charges against a South Florida man operating a human trafficking ring following an investigation by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. According to the investigation, Orlith Joseph organized, promoted and profited from a sex trafficking ring involving victims coerced by controlled substances and extreme acts of violence.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This predator targeted and recruited at-risk victims and exploited their vulnerability by coercing them into sex trafficking using extreme violence and perpetuating harmful drug addictions. One of these victims was just 14-years-old. As a mother, I am incredibly disturbed and heartbroken by this monster’s complete disregard for human life. I am grateful for the work by the law enforcement officers that brought these victims to safety and know my Statewide Prosecutors will seek justice.” More.

Attorney General Moody Urges Congress to Adopt Measures to Expand Funding for Crime Victims

Attorney General Ashley Moody and a bipartisan coalition of state and territorial attorneys general representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories are urging Congress to adopt key changes to the Victims of Crime Act that provide critical financial support to victims of violent crimes and their families.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the attorneys general call on Congress to adopt changes to the Crime Victims Fund, a national fund that supports state victims’ services programs. The recommendations will stabilize the fund’s finances and provide more flexibility to grantees who are providing services to victims and their families.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Crime victims are often left with hardships in the aftermath of a crime. Worrying about paying medical or housing bills, lost wages or property damage as a direct result of crime should not be a burden victims are left to face alone. It is crucial that Congress act now to stabilize the Crime Victims Fund so our office and the offices of my fellow attorneys general can continue to provide financial support to crime victims and their families.” More.

Attorney General Moody Announces $85 Million Multistate Agreement with American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Attorney General Ashley Moody, along with attorneys general from 47 other states and territories, reached an agreement with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. to secure payment to the states of more than $85 million. The agreement resolves allegations that Honda concealed safety issues related to defects in the frontal airbag systems installed in certain Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States. Takata Corporation, a long-time Honda supplier, designed and manufactured the systems with first installations in 2001 Honda model vehicles.

The proposed consent judgments filed conclude a multistate investigation into Honda’s alleged failure to inform regulators and consumers that the frontal airbags posed a significant risk of rupture. The defect can result in metal fragments flying into the passenger compartments of many Honda and Acura vehicles. To date, the ruptures have resulted in at least 14 deaths and more than 200 injuries in the U.S. alone.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Floridians depend heavily on their motor vehicles in everyday life and should not be put in danger as a result of a defect from a manufacturer. Due to Honda’s failure to properly ensure the complete safety of their vehicles and allegedly keeping important information from consumers, innocent lives were lost and hundreds more were injured. I commend my office and attorneys general across the nation for their work in securing the protections necessary to prevent tragedies like these in the future.” More.