Protecting FloridiansAttorney General Bondi Issues a Statement on the Launch of Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Attorney General Pam Bondi issued a statement on the launch of the Electronic Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation program (E-FORCSE), or Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program this week.
“More than seven Floridians die a day due to prescription drug overdose. The launch of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program will allow doctors and pharmacies to prevent doctor-shopping and over-prescribing of highly addictive pain medication. Today marks another step forward in Florida’s fight against prescription drug abuse.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi and other States Ask the U.S. Supreme Court to Review Court Decision in Significant Timber Harvesting Case
Attorney General Bondi has joined 24 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a flawed decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that overturns more than 30 years of best management practices for stormwater runoff from silviculture, the growing and harvesting of trees. The amicus brief was filed Monday by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The brief argues that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision invalidates EPA’s Silvicultural Rule and incorrectly claims that timber harvesting constitutes “industrial activity” when it is, in fact, agricultural. For more information on this issue, click here.
Two Pinellas County Women Charged with Defrauding Medicaid
This week, two Pinellas County women were taken into custody for billing Medicaid recipients for services that were not rendered. Kaela Ruth Marie Morgan, 23, and Ashlei Kaye Cook, 31, were arrested this week by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Petersburg Police Department after an investigation with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Morgan and Cook who were employed by Great Expectations, LLC in Clearwater, have been charged with one count of scheme to defraud, a third-degree felony. If convicted, they each could receive up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
Two Jefferson County Sisters Arrested for Medicaid Fraud
This week, two Jefferson County residents were arrested after allegedly defrauding the State of Florida out of more than $26,000. Sisters, Martha Maxwell and Barbara Watkins, of Monticello, were both arrested on felony warrants by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The arrest was carried out by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began investigating Watkins and Maxwell after receiving information from the Florida Department of Children and Families, Adult Protective Services. Watkins, 49, and Maxwell, 55, own and operate the Nellie’s Retired Inn Assisted Living Facility in Monticello.
Maxwell is charged with four counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of organized fraud, all third degree felonies. Watkins is charged with the same counts as Maxwell and two additional counts of Medicaid fraud, one count of public assistance fraud, and one count of communications fraud, all third degree felonies. Watkins is also charged with the first degree misdemeanor of failure to meet background screening requirements. The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida.
National Association of Attorneys General Eastern Region Meetings in New York
This week, Attorney General Bondi attended the National Association of Attorneys General Eastern Region Meetings. The meetings, which took place at Columbia Law School in New York City, addressed human trafficking. Discussions included labor and peonage, sex trafficking, how states are responding, safe harbor laws, and the importance of federal and state partnerships.
Cape Canaveral Cabinet Meeting
The Florida Cabinet meeting took place this Tuesday in Cape Canaveral. Governor Scott and the Cabinet members discussed the future of Kennedy Space Center. They were also presented thank-you cards by Lewis Carroll Elementary School students before the meeting.