Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
|August 26, 2021
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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Attorney General Moody and Governor DeSantis Secure $5 Million Following Action Against FCADV and Former CEO Tiffany Carr
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody and Governor Ron DeSantis today announced a global settlement agreement requiring the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and former FCADV CEO Tiffany Carr to repay the state and domestic violence centers millions of dollars. The settlement follows legal action taken by Attorney General Moody and by the Florida Department of Children and Families in March 2020 to preserve FCADV assets and recover misused state grant funds paid to Carr as excessive compensation. The agreement, which remains subject to court approval, resolves multiple pending civil actions but has no bearing on the ability of law enforcement to bring criminal charges associated with the misuse of taxpayer and charitable funds. Additionally, under the settlement agreement, all parties agree to a judicial dissolution of FCADV—establishing a process to liquidate and dissolve the organization.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “For several years, FCADV and Tiffany Carr concocted to pay herself an excessive compensation scheme, millions of dollars meant to benefit domestic violence victims. When uncovered, this scheme threatened to disrupt funding to domestic violence centers. I am pleased that through these actions, we succeeded in getting rid of the bad management, dismantling the organization, implementing a new system to serve victims of domestic violence and recouping millions of misappropriated funds.
“Nonprofit officers and directors who administer taxpayer funds take note: you have a heightened responsibility to use that money prudently. Today is a positive step towards restoring faith in the system and returning funds to the rightful recipients—ensuring domestic violence survivors receive the services and help they need to heal in a safe and secure environment.”
Governor Ron DeSantis said, “Today’s settlement is a win in our fight to recover money that was intended to help families rebuild after facing domestic violence. This organization acted in greed, abusing state dollars meant to serve families during their most vulnerable times. I am thankful this injustice was righted today with the return of this money.”
DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris said, “Florida taxpayers deserve full accountability and transparency. The FCADV was deceptive with state funds, and I thank Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for the justice served today. We will continue working to ensure survivors receive the care and support they need while remaining transparent with the Legislature and taxpayers.”
Following a series of news reports and a Florida House investigation that uncovered millions of dollars in grossly excessive compensation paid to Carr, Attorney General Moody took legal action against FCADV and Carr for the misappropriation of public funds and private donations. In response to Attorney General Moody’s motion, the court appointed a receiver over FCADV and its foundation to control their assets and property. DCF and the court-appointed receiver also filed actions against FCADV’s officers and directors. The settlement resolves five pending lawsuits brought by the Florida Attorney General’s Office, DCF, the court appointed receiver, Mark Healy, and Hanover, one of FCADV insurers.
Through the settlement, former FCADV officers and directors will pay more than $3.9 million to DCF and the receiver—including a more than $2 million payment by Carr. Per the settlement agreement, former FCADV officers Patricia Duarte and Sandra Barnett will pay a total of $60,000. FCADV insurers will pay the remaining funds from the $3.9 million payment, totaling more than $1.7 million. Additionally, more than $1 million currently in accounts of FCADV’s foundation will go directly to domestic violence centers across the state.
The dissolution of FCADV will include a claims process for creditors, overseen by the receiver and court. The process will establish a claims priority, giving DCF priority as a creditor with an allowed claim of more than $2.8 million. There is a possibility of additional recovery by DCF through the liquidation of FCADV’s assets and the sale of property and will be applied to the judgment balance.
Additionally, FCADV will stipulate to a judgment for more than $6 million, with the $3.9 million settlement funds to be applied to the judgment balance.
Under the settlement agreement, eight non-party state agencies agreed to provide releases to the directors and officers to facilitate the agreement. In addition to the Florida Office of the Attorney General and DCF, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Florida Department of Emergency Management, Florida Department of Financial Services, Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Revenue each provided releases.
To read the settlement agreement, click here.