Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

This week, I joined law enforcement leaders from across our state at the 2022 Florida Sheriffs Association Summer Conference. It’s always an honor to address the brave men and women of Florida law enforcement. While speaking to these heroes, I highlighted our efforts to recruit qualified officers from across the nation to join our state’s ranks.

During the conference, I had the privilege of recognizing Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy Raymond Arce. Before moving to Florida, Deputy Arce served in Chicago—where he felt he didn’t have the support of the community or its leaders.

Searching social media for new opportunities, Deputy Arce came across outreach from Florida and heard our message of strong support for those who wear the badge. It inspired him to act. A few months later, he moved to Florida and joined our great law enforcement family. Deputy Arce is just one of a growing number of officers who are realizing that in Florida, we back the blue and our leaders appreciate their service and sacrifice.

Last year, I created the Be A Florida Hero initiative—a statewide recruitment tool to help spread this important message and promote law enforcement career opportunities throughout the state. Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis and our legislative leaders, we secured additional resources to recruit new officers as well as raises for current officers.

I am excited that the country is taking notice of our strong support for those who swear an oath to protect and serve. By supporting these brave officers and giving them the tools they need to succeed, we are building a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Ashley Moody
Protecting Floridians
SUMMER SCAMS SERIES: Beware of Moving Scams as People Flock to Florida


Attorney General Ashley Moody is continuing the Summer Scams Series with a warning about moving. Summer is traditionally one of the most popular times of the year to move, and Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert to help both current and new Floridians avoid scams. Moving can be stressful and scammers may take advantage of the situation to rip off consumers. Florida has recently seen a population boom. According to a U.S. Census report, Florida saw the second highest growth of any state in the nation last year—making it a target-rich state for anyone trying to take advantage of people relocating.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “People are moving to Florida in droves, and many will spend the next few weeks relocating before the new school year begins. This season of high demand could attract scammers trying to take advantage of those moving their belongings. I am issuing a Consumer Alert highlighting common moving scams and how to avoid falling prey.” More.


Attorney General Moody Secures Millions of Dollars in Multistate Action Following Massive Data Breach


Attorney General Ashley Moody secured $8 million as a result of a multistate action following a Wawa data breach. The announcement comes after an investigation into a December 2019 data breach that compromised potentially up to 34 million payment cards used at Wawa stores. Attorney General Moody is joined in the multistate action by the attorneys general of five other states, as well as Washington, D.C. Florida will receive more than $1.1 million.

The data breach occurred after hackers gained access to the company’s computer network and deployed malware on point-of-sale terminals. The malware extracted customers’ sensitive payment card information between April 18, 2019, and Dec. 12, 2019, and affected stores in each of the six states where Wawa operates—Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia—along with Washington, D.C.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Hackers will go to great lengths to steal personal information—often targeting businesses to access the data of millions of consumers. It is important that companies take reasonable measures to protect their customers from data breaches. Through a multistate action, we are securing millions of dollars and an agreement that Wawa will implement measures to better protect the sensitive information provided by its customers.” More.


Attorney General Moody Announces Arrest of Caretaker Charged with Stealing Thousands of Dollars from a Florida Senior

Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of a live-in caretaker charged with stealing thousands of dollars from a Florida senior. The caretaker, Cynthia Sirmans, used the victim’s credit card while the senior spent time in the hospital due to a life-threatening illness. During a four-month period, Sirmans charged more than $47,000 to the victim’s card. The transactions ranged from gift-card purchases to expensive, radio-controlled cars.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The defendant in this case was trusted to take care of a Florida senior, but while the victim was in the hospital with a life-threatening illness, she used the opportunity to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent credit-card charges in the victim’s name. Working with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, we uncovered the scheme and now the so-called caregiver will have to face my Statewide Prosecutors and answer for her crimes.” More.


Care Provider Arrested for Medicaid Fraud Totaling More Than $11,000


Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with the assistance of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, arrested a self-employed care provider for one count of Medicaid provider fraud. Kimberly Greene Byrd is accused of submitting more than $11,000 worth of fraudulent claims to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, including billing for hours not worked.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This defendant, over the course of eight months, submitted false billing claims to the Medicaid program, causing a loss of thousands of taxpayer dollars. My Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will now ensure she faces the consequences of her crimes.” More.


Attorney General Moody Calls Floridians to Action in Advance of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons


Attorney General Ashley Moody is calling on Floridians to take action in advance of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons—the day is officially recognized on July 30. Attorney General Moody is committed to making Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking. To achieve this lofty goal, more Floridians need to join the effort. As the world prepares to come together to recognize World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Attorney General Moody is outlining ways Floridians can help stop human trafficking and save lives.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As we prepare to recognize World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, I am calling on Floridians to take action. Learning how to spot and report this atrocious crime is one of the best ways to help make Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking—and possibly save a life.”
More.
Events
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody spoke to law enforcement leaders at the 2022 Florida Sheriffs Association Summer Conference. Attorney General Moody highlighted nationwide law enforcement recruitment efforts to fill vacancies with new officers moving to Florida. To see opportunities across the state, visit BeAFloridaHero.com.



Attorney General Moody and Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum presenting the FSA Distinguished Service Award to Agent Tyler Thoman of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Agent Thoman exhibited exceptional bravery while under attack by an armed suspect who had already shot another BCSO deputy. Agent Thoman’s actions saved the injured deputy’s life.