Attorney General Moody's Week In Review

Protecting Florida’s more than 5 million seniors is one of my top priorities as Florida’s Attorney General. An important partner in this mission is the Seniors vs. Crime project.

Seniors vs. Crime is made up of volunteers called Senior Sleuths that work to prevent crime and fraud involving seniors and aid consumers in resolving disputes. Over the past two years, Seniors vs. Crime has helped recover, refund and save more than $3.4 million for older Floridians.

This week, the 2020 Seniors vs. Crime Annual Report was released, highlighting $1.7 million in total refunds, savings and recoveries for seniors attained this past year. To view the recent report, click here.

As COVID-19 rapidly spread across the world, criminals doubled down on efforts to target seniors—but that did not deter the Seniors vs. Crime volunteers. Not only did they help protect their fellow seniors who had been victimized, they also provided thousands of Floridians with the tools needed to avoid scams—all at no cost to seniors.

While this latest report is promising, our work protecting Florida’s seniors is far from over. I remain as dedicated as ever to protecting older Floridians from exploitation, which is why, during this legislative session, I am working with Sen. Danny Burgess and Rep. Colleen Burton on a bill to strengthen senior protection in Florida.

You can help us protect seniors from fraud and other crimes by reporting instances of scams or non-emergency instances of senior exploitation to 1(866) 9NO-SCAM. In case of an emergency, please call 911.

By reporting senior scams when you see them, you can help us build a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Ashley Moody
Protecting Floridians
VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Look Out for Tax Scammers and Identity Thieves as Tax-Filing Deadline Extended to May


This week marks the previous tax-filing deadline, but the date to file is being pushed back and Attorney General Ashley Moody wants to make sure Floridians avoid tax-filing scams during this new, longer tax period. Attorney General Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert to warn about tax scams and identity theft ahead of the new filing deadline. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced in March an extension of the 2021 tax-filing deadline due to the impact of COVID-19. The new deadline to submit taxes to the IRS this year is May 17.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “COVID-19 has disrupted so much of our daily lives, including how we prepare and when we file our taxes. While the extension of the tax-filing deadline gives Floridians more time to organize and complete their filings, it also gives scammers more days to try to steal personal and sensitive taxpayer information. I urge Floridians to maintain extreme caution when preparing and filing taxes this year.” More.


Attorney General Moody and Chief Financial Officer Patronis Announce Arrest in Nearly $2 Million Life Insurance Fraud Scheme



Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Joyce Small for allegedly orchestrating a life insurance fraud scheme that had the potential to defraud nearly $2 million in death benefits from eight insurance companies. Small allegedly collected more than $211,000 in life insurance benefits from policies fraudulently obtained by stealing personal information. Small’s victims range from acquaintances, current and former rental property tenants, friends and family members—many of them now over 60.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This conniving criminal exploited relationships and the trust placed in her as a landlord to rip-off insurance companies. We will not stand by while criminals target Floridians and devise schemes that ultimately harm all ratepayers when insurers have to raise rates to account for this type of fraud. I am proud of my Statewide Prosecutors for working with the CFO’s office to thwart this devious insurance fraud scheme before more harm was caused by the perpetrator.” More.


Attorney General Moody Enlists Hundreds More in Highway Heroes Campaign to Stop Human Trafficking


Attorney General Ashley Moody is enlisting hundreds more Floridians in the fight to end human trafficking. Attorney General Moody made the announcement in Sarasota County that PGT Innovations will receive anti-human trafficking training through the Highway Heroes campaign. PGT Innovations is the largest private-sector employer in Sarasota County and enlisting the company in the campaign will add more Truckers Against Trafficking certified commercial driver license holders on Florida roadways.

Highway Heroes is a multifaceted outreach campaign including specialized training, awareness materials mailed directly to CDL holders and a new website with resources to educate drivers how to identify victims and report suspected human trafficking. The campaign started in October 2020 through a partnership between the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am thrilled to announce the expansion of our Highway Heroes campaign. Providing anti-human trafficking materials and training to the PGT Innovations team brings us one step closer to our goal of ensuring every CDL holder in Florida knows the signs and ways to report human trafficking. I am so grateful to everyone at PGT for signing onto this noble cause and helping our state in the fight to end this horrific crime.” More.


Attorney General Moody’s Statement on the Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer Practices Bill

Attorney General Ashley Moody released the following statement in support of the Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer Practices Bill passing the House Judiciary Committee:

“Since day one in office, I have been focused on building trust and respect between communities and those sworn to protect and serve them. From my discussions across the state and nation about how we can improve policing and foster these relationships, it became apparent that we needed to focus on independent investigations and invest in the vetting and training of law enforcement officers. More will need to be done in the future to ensure that we continue to attract and retain the best and brightest for these incredibly important roles and that we promote positive, constructive relationships between our communities and our officers. I’m grateful for all those who put so much work into developing JDC1—and look forward to together ensuring a Stronger, Safer Florida.”


Owner of a Gadsden Home Service Provider Arrested for More Than $50,000 in Medicaid Fraud


Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office arrested the owner of a home and community-based service provider for more than $50,000 in Medicaid fraud. Quantara Clarke, 49, is the owner of Golden Angels Professional Services, LLC in Gadsden County and allegedly over-billed Medicaid for services not provided. The investigation also revealed that Clarke, on multiple occasions, did not provide quality care or one-on-one support to patients.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This defendant is expected to provide daily support services that are essential for vulnerable patients and are meant to make their lives easier. Not only did she bilk the Medicaid program for services that were physically not possible to provide, she overstated the quality of care and, in some instances, scared her patients. That is unacceptable and my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit won’t stand for it.” More.
Events
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the expansion of the Highway Heroes campaign in North Venice—adding truck drivers from PGT Innovations, the largest private employer in Sarasota County.




Attorney General Moody highlighting the 2020 Seniors vs. Crime Annual Report in Naples. The report shows nearly $1.7 million in refunds, savings and recoveries for seniors.