Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
Exciting announcement this week as college football legend and fellow Florida Gator Tim Tebow agreed to keynote our virtual 2020 Annual Human Trafficking Summit.
Tebow is a two-time college football national champion and the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner. He is also a passionate warrior fighting to end human trafficking and free oppressed people across the globe.
I am thrilled to have Tebow keynote this year’s record-breaking Human Trafficking Summit. I commend his selfless work through the Tim Tebow Foundation to bring awareness to this horrific crime.
His passion to serve and save children from this abuse is changing lives. I’m excited for our registrants to hear about the great work his foundation is doing and look forward to the launch of our Summit on Oct. 6.
In addition to Tebow’s keynote address during the launch of the Summit, this year’s program will include more than 15 hours of presentations by speakers from across the country and much more.
The Summit is virtual for the first time in its history. More than 4,000 people from across the country have already registered for this historic event and there is still room for more.
To register for the Summit, click here.
To view the Summit’s program, click here.
Tebow is an important solider in the fight to end human trafficking and you can be too. Do your part by learning how to spot human trafficking at YouCanStopHT.com. By learning the signs and reporting suspicious activity, we can end human trafficking and build a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Attorney General Moody Expands Price Gouging Hotline as Hurricane Sally Advances Towards Florida’s Panhandle
Attorney General Ashley Moody expanded Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline to receive reports of unconscionable price increases on essential commodities in Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington counties. As these Florida counties are expected to fall within the predicted path of Hurricane Sally, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency, issuing Executive Order 20-225 to include the above-mentioned counties. This followed an earlier declaration that covered Escambia and Santa Rosa only. With these declarations, Attorney General Moody expanded the Price Gouging Hotline to include consumer contacts relating to purchases of essential commodities made in these counties in preparation for the hurricane. Florida’s price gouging laws for this event only apply within the areas of the declared state of emergency and only for commodities and services essential to preparing for or recovering from the storm event.
In addition to this new state of emergency regarding Hurricane Sally, a state of emergency also remains in effect for Hurricane Michael in certain North Florida counties. Additionally, the price gouging laws continue to apply statewide under the ongoing emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for commodities that relate specifically to the health crisis.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “We are at the peak of a very active hurricane season. Currently, the Atlantic Ocean has five tropical cyclones simultaneously, including Hurricane Sally. All Floridians should take this time to prepare for a potential storm. Ensuring you have the resources you need to get you and your family through a storm should be done now, not later. And as you prepare, if you see potential price gouging, do not hesitate to report it. My office stands ready to stop gouging and protect consumers.” More.
Attorney General Moody’s Statement About Netflix Film Documenting the Sexual Exploitation of Children
Attorney General Ashley Moody sent a letter to Netflix asking the popular streaming service to remove a new film highlighting the sexual exploitation of children. The Netflix movie Cuties depicts children using their bodies in a sexual manner to evade trouble. The film also graphically focuses on the clothed genitalia of children and shows the creation and publication of child pornography. Attorney General Moody joined Attorneys General from Ohio, Louisiana and Texas in a joint letter to Netflix demanding Cuties be removed from the streaming platform.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As a mother and public servant dedicated to ending human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of our children, I am disgusted and discouraged that this film is being circulated in mainstream media. I am calling on Netflix to protect our children and common decency by removing Cuties from its streaming platform.”
To view the letter Attorney General Moody sent to Netflix’s chief executive officer, click here.
CONSUMER ALERT: Attorney General Moody Warns of U.S. Census Scams as Deadline Extended
Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning consumers of scams related to the U.S. Census as the census deadline is extended to Sept. 30 due to the coronavirus. Along with updates on the extended deadline, the Census Bureau is ramping up higher numbers of census takers visiting homes that have not responded to the 2020 Census.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “It is so very important that Floridians respond to the Census—but with more census workers heading door-to-door it could mean more opportunity for imposters and scams. I encourage all Floridians to familiarize themselves with the proper protocols of census takers, and report any suspicious activity to the Census Bureau, local law enforcement or my office.” More.
Attorney General Moody Secures More Than $24 Million in Debt Relief for Students of Defunct For-Profit School
Attorney General Ashley Moody is securing millions of dollars for Florida students through a multistate action. The action will result in more than $24 million in debt relief for former ITT Tech students in Florida. The relief follows an investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s Office, 53 other attorneys general and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Nationally, the agreement will result in debt relief of approximately $330 million for former students of the failed for-profit college. The agreement affects about 35,000 borrowers.
The agreement is with PEAKS Trust, a private loan program run by ITT and affiliated with Deutsche Bank entities. ITT filed bankruptcy in 2016 amid investigations by state attorneys general and following action by the U.S. Department of Education to restrict ITT’s access to federal student aid.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Students spend a great deal of time and money working towards their higher education. Many take on the burden of student loan debt for the sake of a better future. It is reprehensible for this loan program to exploit students’ desire to earn a degree by coercing them into accepting loans the program knew students would not be able to pay. As a result, many students were left with the difficult choice of enrolling in the loan program or dropping out and losing any credits earned through the school. I am glad we were able to secure debt relief for former students who are still financially affected by this high-pressure loan program.” More.
Attorney General Moody Secures Millions for Florida After Whistleblower Reported LexisNexis Kept FLHSMV Fees for Profit
Attorney General Ashley Moody secured millions of dollars for Florida stemming from a whistleblower investigation that revealed a private company pocketed state fees to boost corporate profits. Attorney General Moody announced that LexisNexis Coplogic Solutions Inc. will pay nearly $10 million to resolve allegations that the company engaged in a systematic pattern of underreporting the number of motor vehicle crash reports it sold through a contract with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This, in turn, resulted in the company underpaying FLHSMV the total amount owed in statutorily-required fees to be collected for each report sold. Through its contract with FLHSMV, LexisNexis made motor vehicle crash reports available to the public for a small fee. The law requires that a portion of the fee, $10 per report, be remitted to FLHSMV. The agency terminated the contract last year, following a whistleblower’s disclosure.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The State of Florida trusted this private company to help Floridians access crash reports to assist them with insurance claims and other important matters that can arise following an automobile accident. But instead of passing the agency fee along to the FLHSMV, millions of dollars were pocketed as corporate profits. My office will continue to hold responsible companies that seek to abuse the public’s trust in order to bolster their profits.” More.
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody met with emergency managers, law enforcement leaders and the media in the aftermath of the destruction left after Hurricane Sally ripped through the western part of Florida’s Panhandle. Attorney General Moody visited the Escambia County EOC thanking first responders and emergency managers for their tireless efforts to keep Floridians safe during the storm.
Attorney General Moody discussing recovery efforts with Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.
Attorney General Moody stopped by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office’s Mobile Command Center stationed in the middle of some of the damage caused by Hurricane Sally.
Attorney General Moody speaking with Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson about recovery efforts in his county following Hurricane Sally.