Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

We are fighting the opioid crisis on many fronts. Soon, our Statewide Task Force on Opioid Drug Abuse will begin meeting to identify innovative strategies for prevention, treatment and interdiction. State litigation to hold the nation’s largest opioid distributors, manufacturers and pharmacies responsible for their roles in this crisis is in full swing. And our Office of Statewide Prosecution continues drug interdiction efforts with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to lock up heroin and fentanyl traffickers.

Now we need your help. This Saturday, the Drug Enforcement Administration is hosting the 17th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The biannual event is a safe and responsible way to properly dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs or controlled substances. Disposing of unwanted or expired pharmaceuticals can help prevent drug abuse, addiction and overdose deaths.

Drug Take-Back Day will take place this Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locations across Florida. To find a take-back location near you, click here.

The opioid crisis is claiming 17 lives a day in our state. Please help us fight back. Take a moment to check your medicine cabinet for expired or unused prescription drugs. If you find any, bring them to the nearest take-back location. Doing this simple task will keep these drugs from falling into the wrong hands and could save the life of someone close to you.
Ashley Moody
Protecting Floridians
PHOTO RELEASE: Attorney General Moody Kicks Off 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run

Attorney General Ashley Moody kicked off the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run, benefiting Special Olympics Florida. Law enforcement officers and supporters joined Attorney General Moody and Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock at the event. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest annual public relations and fundraising event for Special Olympics Florida, with thousands of law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes running hundreds of miles throughout the state.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, "I am proud to stand with law enforcement and Special Olympics Florida to promote this incredible event supporting these inspiring athletes. The Special Olympics gives athletes an opportunity to set and achieve goals, build lasting relationships, develop social skills, and of course, improve their health through physical competition and exercise. The athletes who participate in the Special Olympics build self-esteem, realize their self-worth and develop skills that will benefit them the rest of their lives." More.

Attorney General Moody Secures Five Life Sentences for Habitual Offender Convicted of Fraud

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced five life sentences for a man repeatedly convicted of fraud and taking advantage of Floridians. The Honorable Larry Schack, Senior Judge for the 19th Judicial Circuit, on Wednesday, sentenced Robert Allen Tribble to five life sentences after juries found Tribble guilty on multiple fraud counts. Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution sought enhanced penalties given Tribble’s extensive criminal record. 

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, "We are using every resource available to fight fraud and ensure criminals trying to take advantage of Floridians are held responsible. These five life sentences for this habitual fraudster, who repeatedly deceived and exploited our citizens, should serve as a warning to anyone trying to take advantage of Floridians. If you commit fraud in Florida, we will find you and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

CONSUMER ALERT: Tips to Avoid Utility Scam Phone Calls

Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert regarding utility scam calls. Utility scams occur when an imposter claims to be a utility company representative and threatens to shut off power, gas or water unless payment is made immediately. The scammers tell consumers the only way to keep services from being turned off is to immediately pay the amount owed on an overdue bill—often through wire transfer or a money card.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “These deceitful utility scammers can sound persuasive on the phone and will use scare tactics to trick consumers into making false payments. Consumers should be suspicious of any unsolicited phone call demanding money and report any suspicious activity to our office.”

Attorney General Moody Files Action to Stop Deceptive Surrogacy Company

Attorney General Ashley Moody is taking action to shut down a surrogacy company for allegedly deceiving people seeking pregnancy surrogates. The Attorney General filed a complaint in Hillsborough County against The Surrogacy Group, LLC and its owner, Gregory Blosser. The defendants allegedly failed to deliver administrative services, return deposits, or pay fees and costs owed to surrogates. The company conducts business in Tampa with additional offices in Maryland and New York.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Couples invest a lot of time, money and emotion in the surrogacy process, and it is shameful that anyone would exploit this intimate and personal journey to steal their money. Our court action seeks to prohibit the defendants from offering surrogacy services in Florida.” More.

BACK THE BLUE: Attorney General Moody Recognizes Largo Police Officer

Attorney General Ashley Moody presented a Back the Blue Award to Largo Police Officer Jonathon DePierre for his heroic efforts during a water rescue. Earlier this year, Officer DePierre arrived at a scene of an accident where a 73-year-old woman submerged her car into a pond. Officer DePierre quickly jumped into the pond and held the woman’s head above the water to keep her from drowning, and ultimately freed the woman’s legs that were trapped under the steering wheel. Several good Samaritans also jumped into the water to help the elderly woman and try to keep the car from sinking further.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Officer DePierre is another prime example of a courageous law enforcement officer who selflessly serves his community. His heroic actions during a time-pressing and critical situation are exceptional, and thanks to his passion for helping others, this woman left the scene of the accident with only minor injuries. Thank you, Officer DePierre for bravely serving your community and saving this woman’s life.” More.

Deltona Heroin Dealers Indicted For Murder

A grand jury returned murder indictments for two Volusia County heroin dealers responsible for fatal overdoses of heroin users in 2018. Both suspects have been in custody since the completion of a 2018 Volusia County Sheriff’s Office operation that dismantled a significant heroin distribution ring.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Opioids are killing 17 people a day in Florida. To end this crisis, we must hold fully responsible anyone selling this poison to Floridians. I want to thank Sheriff Chitwood and State Attorney Larizza for pursuing these charges and working with our office to end the opioid crisis.” More.

Stuart Physician Sentenced to Prison After Having Been Convicted at Trial of Health Care Fraud

A doctor who previously worked in Stuart, Florida, was sentenced to prison after having been convicted by a federal jury of committing repeated acts of health care fraud.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Shimon R. Richmond, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Regional Office, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Ashley B. Moody, Florida Attorney General, made the announcement.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Make no mistake, health care fraud is a serious crime that steals tax dollars and increases insurance rates. The Florida Attorney General’s Office will continue to work with our federal partners to protect Florida’s health care market and arrest, prosecute and convict anyone trying to defraud Medicaid and Medicare.” More.
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody kicked off the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run outside Florida’s Historic Capitol Building.

Attorney General Moody greeting law enforcement officers, Special Olympics Florida athletes and volunteers.

Attorney General Moody with members of the Attorney General’s Office and volunteer runners who participated in the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Attorney General Moody surprising Largo Police Officer Jonathon DePierre with a Back the Blue Award at the Largo Police Department. Officer DePierre saved the life of a 73-year-old woman who accidentally submerged her car in a pond.

Attorney General Moody joining Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried and state lawmakers to urge Congress to provide Hurricane Michael relief funding for the Florida Panhandle.

Attorney General Moody and Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee with Florida House Pages and Messengers outside the Attorney General’s Office in the State Capitol.

On June 14, Attorney General Moody will host a Seniors v. Crime 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.