Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
|April 17, 2019
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
One Hundred Days Combating the Opioid Crisis, Fighting Fraud, Protecting Seniors, Supporting Law Enforcement and More
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Today marks 100 days since Attorney General Ashley Moody swore an oath to serve as the 38th Attorney General of the State of Florida. During this short period of time, Attorney General Moody is already delivering on campaign promises. The Attorney General’s Office is taking swift action to combat the national opioid crisis, consumer fraud, human trafficking and to support Florida’s law enforcement community.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “We are fighting every day for a safer, stronger Florida, and I am proud of my team for the hard work and dedicated way they approach this important mission. We are combating the opioid crisis, fighting fraud, protecting seniors, recognizing our brave law enforcement officers and much, much more. There are still a lot of challenges before us, and I vow to continue to approach this job every day with a sense of urgency and passion for protecting the vulnerable, prosecuting criminals and defending the rule of law.”
Combating the National Opioid Crisis that is claiming 17 lives a day in Florida remains a top priority of Attorney General Moody’s Office. In the fight to end opioid abuse, Attorney General Moody:
· Chairs the Statewide Task Force on Opioid Drug Abuse. The newly-established 21-member task force will work together to exert a strategic, holistic response to the opioid crisis;
· Assembled a statewide working group of experts to identify strategies and best practices for addressing the opioid crisis;
· Issued a strategic report for combating the opioid crisis. To read Florida’s Opioid Epidemic: Recommendations and Best Practices, click here;
· Personally appeared in court and advocated expediency necessary for trial in the state’s opioid litigation to hold responsible the nation’s largest opioid distributors, manufacturers and pharmacies;
· Secured a successful ruling denying the defendants’ motions to dismiss the state’s opioid litigation; and
· Pushed back against the loosening of opioid prescribing guidelines, requesting that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reverse a suggestion that medical providers rely on personal judgment instead of consulting evidence-based recommendations, including opioid prescription duration and dosage.
In the fight to stop fraud and protect consumers, including seniors, from abuse, fraud and exploitation, Attorney General Moody:
· Created Florida’s Senior Protection Team comprised of leading experts from the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, Consumer Protection Division, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Criminal Justice Programs Unit, as well as specifically designated FDLE agents from around the state;
· Improved communication between civil and criminal investigative agencies to increase the likelihood that when a case falls outside the jurisdiction of the Consumer Protection Division, an agency with possible authority over the matter is promptly alerted;
· Urged Congress to act against illegal robocalls by enacting the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act. The Act is designed to reduce the number of illegal robocalls and fight spoofing;
· Organized and formalized a Consumer Alert program to warn Floridians about scams involving tax returns, identity theft, email phishing and more;
· Took action to stop multiple online scams, such as tech support scams targeting seniors, a company selling fake Twitter followers and a diploma mill marketing illegitimate high school diplomas to students in Florida and nationwide; and
· Recovered millions from sham charities exploiting veterans to solicit funds from generous donors who gave believing the money would assist veterans. Recovered funds are now going to legitimate veterans’ organizations.
Before being elected Attorney General, Moody served as a federal prosecutor and a circuit court judge. Attorney General Moody is also married to a federal law enforcement agent. Supporting law enforcement and fostering a trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve is an important focus of the administration. To bolster support for Florida law enforcement officers, Attorney General Moody:
· Launched the Back the Blue Award Campaign to highlight the brave and selfless service of law enforcement officers, and those officers, citizens and organizations taking extraordinary steps to forge positive relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve;
· Issued four Back the Blue Awards and created a system for nominating outstanding law enforcement officers, organizations and citizens;
· Honored law enforcement officers from across Florida and named the 2018 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year during a ceremony at the Florida Capitol;
· Hosted Florida sheriffs from across the state in the Florida Attorney General’s Office on Sheriffs Day at the Capitol to discuss law enforcement challenges and initiatives;
· Presented Hometown Hero Awards to first responders and law enforcement officers who took extraordinary measures to help citizens during and after Hurricane Michael; and
· Named former-Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey Chief of Staff and Director of Law Enforcement Relations.
Fighting human trafficking and rescuing survivors is another priority of Attorney General Moody’s Administration. The Attorney General serves as Chair of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, and the Office of Statewide Prosecution prosecutes complex, multijurisdictional trafficking crimes. Since taking office, Attorney General Moody:
· Chaired the first meeting of the 15-member Statewide Council on Human Trafficking of 2019;
· Appointed Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco to the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking;
· Charged seven individuals in a case involving the sex trafficking of a Florida teenager;
· Ordered a comprehensive review of all policies and task forces related to human trafficking; and
· Presented and passed a Florida Cabinet resolution recognizing Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Florida to help inform Floridians about how to spot and report human trafficking.
These are just a few examples of the achievements during the first 100 days of Attorney General Moody’s Administration. Attorney General Moody also helped obtain a multistate, multimillion-dollar settlement with Fiat, secured 45-year prison sentences for two of the infamous ninja robbers, recovered millions through a national health care fraud scheme, assisted the DEA in a drug trafficking ring bust and more.
Several of the Attorney General’s legislative priorities continue to move through the legislation process. One bill championed by the Attorney General’s Office would amend and expand state law to allow 16 and 17-year-old victims of sexual abuse to receive compensation for mental health counseling.
Attorney General Moody also set a goal of regularly visiting staff at each of the 13 Attorney General Offices across the state. Attorney General Moody already visited each office and met with staff dedicated to protecting Floridians in every region of Florida.
To follow all the latest news from the Florida Attorney General’s Office, subscribe to the Week in Review here. For more general information about the office, visit MyFloridaLegal.com. To follow Attorney General Moody on Twitter, click here.