Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
This week, we celebrated two years of increasing law enforcement participation in the Bigs in Blue mentorship program. In 2019, we launched an intra-agency partnership with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to encourage officers to mentor young people seeking guidance through the Bigs in Blue program with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The main mission of Bigs in Blue is to partner children facing adversity with professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships with officers that will have positive impacts on the youths’ lives. This program helps forge bonds between law enforcement officers and youth—in the communities where they serve.
The idea for this intra-agency partnership to increase participation in Bigs in Blue began when I presented a Back the Blue Award to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay in June 2019, where I saw firsthand the impact the Bigs in Blue program has on the lives of those who participate. Now, 400 officers statewide have taken the opportunity to become a local mentor for at-risk children and teens through the program.
Through Bigs in Blue, I know these children’s lives, as well as the officers’, have been changed for the better, forever.
To learn more about this important program, click here.
By mentoring youth, Florida law enforcement officers are making positive impacts on the lives of children and helping us build a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Attorney General Moody Takes Action Against Landscaping Company Targeting Seniors
Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a complaint in the Fifth Judicial Circuit in and for Marion County against a landscaping company targeting seniors with false promises and incomplete work. Service Smart Inc., Service Smart Management Inc., Good Neighbor Landscape Inc. and Good Neighbor Service Management Inc., a/k/a Good Neighbor Services (“Service Smart”), and its owners and managers, Kenneth Wayne Smith, Aaron Paul Gaines and Roy Blackburn allegedly failed to provide certain services and misrepresented the quality and timing of services provided, resulting in more than $118,000 in lost consumer funds.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “There is nothing good or neighborly about this operation targeting Florida seniors. The defendants in this case will now have to answer for unabashedly targeting these consumers with false promises and unfinished work. As Attorney General, I will continue to do everything in my power to protect the seniors who call Florida home.” More.
Attorney General Moody Recovers More Than $100,000 for Florida Medicaid Program Following MFCU Investigation
Attorney General Ashley Moody, working with federal partners, is recovering thousands of dollars for Florida’s Medicaid program. The recovery follows an investigation into an Ocala neurologist allegedly submitting false claims for medically unnecessary and unreasonable prescription drugs. As a result of the joint state and federal investigation, Florida Neurological Center, LLC and its owner, Dr. Lance Kim, have agreed to pay $800,000 to resolve allegations that Dr. Kim fraudulently prescribed drugs.
One drug that Dr. Kim allegedly falsely prescribed is Acthar GelŪ, which cost government health care programs more than $32,000 each time Dr. Kim prescribed a five-day supply. Pursuant to the agreement, the Florida Medicaid program will receive more than $113,000 in restitution.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Defrauding Florida’s Medicaid program is not a victimless crime, it harms the taxpayers of our great state. My Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators work hard to protect taxpayers by identifying, investigating and stopping fraud exploiting this taxpayer-funded health care program—and recovering lost funds whenever possible.” More.
Home-Health Aide Arrested for Medicaid Fraud
Attorney General Ashely Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with the assistance of the Fort Pierce Police Department, arrested a St. Lucie County home-health aide for Medicaid provider fraud. According to an MFCU investigation, Roselande Baptiste billed Medicaid for thousands of dollars’ worth of personal support services that Baptiste did not provide.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This was a deliberate scheme to steal funds from the Florida Medicaid program in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the diligence of the company for self-reporting this incident, my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators were able to get involved and stop this fraud before more harm was done.” More.
Attorney General Moody Names 2021 Florida School Resource Officer of the Year
Attorney General Ashley Moody, along with the Florida Association of School Resource Officers, recognized school resource officers going above and beyond the call of duty at the FASRO conference in Orlando. At the conference, Attorney General Moody virtually presented Corporal Elissa Elders of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office with the 2021 School Resource Officer of the Year award. Elders has shown exemplary work in protecting and engaging with the students of Pine View Middle School for the past seven years.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Corporal Elders is a shining example of what every school resource officer should aspire to be—a role model, mentor and friend to the students at her school. Corporal Elders does not limit her role to just providing security on campus, she goes above and beyond her professional requirements to personally engage with and better the lives of the students she serves.
“From founding and sponsoring multiple clubs on campus, to participating in school productions, Corporal Elders is just as dedicated to being present for students once the school day is complete. Thank you, Corporal Elders, for all that you do to enrich the lives of the students you serve—leaving a lasting impact far beyond their time at Pine View.” More.
Registration for the upcoming virtual Human Trafficking Summit is open. It is free to register, and attendees will have access to hours of breakout sessions and targeted discussions on how to end human trafficking. To register, visit HumanTraffickingSummit2021.com.