Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
Working with state lawmakers this week, we passed important legislation that will help our office better protect Floridians. Lawmakers passed bills to bolster our opioid litigation, provide stability to Florida’s criminal justice system, ensure children suffering from rare forms of epilepsy can access life-changing medication and more.
Representative Amber Mariano and Senator Tom Lee sponsored legislation allowing our office to access limited information from Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Database to be used under protective order in the state’s ongoing opioid litigation.
Senator Lee also sponsored our bill providing consistency and uniformity in state criminal cases to attorneys, defendants and judges in Florida’s 20 judicial circuits. Representative Juan Fernandez-Barquin sponsored the House companion.
The House Judiciary Committee brought a committee bill codifying our emergency rule to allow children and adults suffering from rare forms of epilepsy to access life-changing, FDA-approved medication.
In the opening weeks of session, Senator Wilton Simpson and Representative Tyler Sirois sponsored legislation to create a statewide opioid task force. The legislation passed several legislative committees before Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order creating the Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse and granting me the honor of serving as Chair.
I want to thank the Governor, House Speaker Jose Oliva, Senate President Bill Galvano and each member of the Florida Legislature for working tirelessly on behalf of Floridians. It‘s been a productive 60 days full of spirited debate and intense discussion, and thanks to this process, our office will have the tools necessary to better serve and protect Floridians.
In The News
Brevard drug bust nets enough fentanyl to kill 500,000, dozens arrested, sheriff says, WKMG
Florida AG says this company ripped off aspiring parents and surrogates of over $270,000, Miami Herald
Shalimar woman charged with exploiting elderly person, NWF Daily News
Woman accused of taking $25K from an elderly woman, buying a car, WTSP
Florida Attorney General honors Largo police officer after jumping into lake, rescuing driver, WFTS
Fallen Florida police officers honored at state capitol, WJXT
Attorney General Moody Announces Mental Health Criminal Justice Round Table Summer Series
Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a series of round table events focused on mental health and Florida’s criminal justice system. This four-part series will span the summer with round table events scheduled with law enforcement in different cities throughout Florida. Attorney General Moody’s interest in identifying more effective strategies to improve the way the criminal justice system interacts with people suffering from mental health issues dates back to her time as a Circuit Court Judge.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As a former judge, there were times I saw repeat offenders who needed a doctor more than they needed a judge. It was disheartening to see some of these repeat offenders deteriorate, knowing that they were not receiving the medical care they needed. It is in Florida’s best interest to take steps to improve in this area in order to reduce recidivism, threats to law enforcement and costs to taxpayers.
“At the same time, we must do everything we can to ensure those with mental health issues that are a danger to our communities are identified and brought to the attention of law enforcement, so we can take the appropriate steps to protect the safety of Floridians.” More.
Attorney General Moody’s Office Secures Guilty Verdict in Human Trafficking Case
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution secured a guilty verdict against a man on human trafficking charges. A sting operation captured Claude Ramsey responding to an advertisement on Backpage.com for commercial sex acts with minor children. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division seized Backpage.com last year as part of an ongoing federal investigation into sex trafficking. A Pinellas County jury found Ramsey guilty on counts of human trafficking of a minor, online solicitation, traveling to meet a minor and unlawful use of a two-way communications device.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This case should serve as a warning to parents that predators will utilize technology to try and contact and harm your child. This case should also serve as a warning to predators that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are working around the clock to make sure you pay for your crimes.” More.
Three Arrested for Exploitation of Elderly and Disabled Adults
Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the arrests of three individuals for exploiting elderly persons and disabled adults. The arrests follow three separate investigations by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. According to the investigations, all three defendants separately stole thousands of dollars from the bank accounts and trust funds of eight elderly and disabled Floridians.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “These defendants were supposed to be caring for the victims, but our investigators found that they exploited their positions of trust to steal thousands of dollars. We will not stand for anyone taking advantage of our seniors and people living with disabilities. I want to commend my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for investigating these crimes and working every day to protect vulnerable Floridians.” More.
Attorney General Moody’s Office Secures Guilty Verdict Against the Mastermind of a Multistate Million-Dollar Fraud Scheme
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution secured the conviction of a man on multiple offenses in a racketeering and money laundering scheme. A Broward County jury found the defendant, John A. Cavallo, Jr., guilty on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, fraudulent transactions, multiple degrees of grand theft and money laundering. The conviction stems from a criminal scheme involving Cavallo and other defendants defrauding victims out of more than $1.2 million. The defendants mainly targeted senior or disabled citizens. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Office of Financial Regulation conducted the criminal investigation that led to the arrest of Cavallo.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Our office is doing everything within our jurisdiction to identify, investigate and stop fraud targeting seniors. I want to thank my statewide prosecutors for securing a guilty verdict in this million-dollar fake investment scheme to drain seniors’ bank accounts. I also want to thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Office of Financial Regulation for their tireless investigation efforts to stop this fraud.” More.
Attorney General Moody Urges Congress to Fund Legal Services
Attorney General Ashley Moody is urging Congress to fund the Legal Services Corporation. LSC is a nonprofit legal services organization established by Congress in 1974 to promote equal access to justice for all Americans by funding independent nonprofit legal aid programs across the country, including Florida. Attorney General Moody is one of more than 40 attorneys general nationwide asking Congress to act.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Access to the courts is a cornerstone of the United States Justice System. As a former judge, I believe the availability of qualified legal counsel is not only necessary, it’s fundamental to upholding our contract with the American people. I am joining my fellow attorneys general in asking Congress to approve continued funding of the Legal Services Corporation to help ensure access to the courts for all Americans.” More.
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody attended the Fraternal Order of Police Memorial Service at the Florida Capitol to honor law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Attorney General Moody delivering the keynote address at the Florida Sheriff’s Association Memorial Service in Tallahassee honoring fallen law enforcement heroes. To watch the memorial ceremony, click here.
Attorney General Moody with Representative Amber Mariano outside the Florida House of Representatives. Representative Mariano and Senator Tom Lee sponsored legislation that passed both chambers without a single no vote. The bill will provide the Attorney General’s Office access to limited information from the PDMP to strengthen litigation against the nation’s largest opioid distributors, manufacturers and pharmacies.
Attorney General Moody joining Governor Ron DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office to announce the takedown of a massive heroin and fentanyl trafficking ring.
Attorney General Moody speaking at the annual National Day of Prayer event at the Florida Capitol.
Attorney General Moody joining Brad Swanson on Florida Internet and Television for an interview about protecting Floridians.
Attorney General Moody with Florida House Pages and Messengers outside the Attorney General’s Capitol office.
On June 14, Attorney General Moody will host a Senior Scam Stopper Workshop in the Villages. All seniors are encouraged to attend this free event that will provide information about spotting scams and preventing fraud targeting older Floridians. For more information, click here.