Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
This week, I continued our Thin Line Tribute with a stop at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. Thin Line Tribute is an opportunity to thank our great local law enforcement officers by encouraging and supporting their dedicated service.
Florida law enforcement serves as the backbone of stability in our state. These everyday heroes that maintain law and order, and provide safety to the communities they have taken an oath to protect, are vital to our way of life.
Our law enforcement officers are incredibly dedicated to their job. I remember back in 2018 when Hurricane Michael struck Bay County as a category five storm. Local law enforcement was crucial; emergency responders went above and beyond to help their neighbors for months after the storm—from clearing fallen trees and debris, rescuing citizens and fighting crime, to delivering much-needed food and supplies.
These are just a few examples of the selfless service shown by our courageous Florida heroes, and it is one of the many reasons why I am traveling around our state to thank those in law enforcement for the terrific job they do.
As the wife of a law enforcement officer, I understand personally the sacrifice and dedication needed in this line of work, and I will continue showing my deepest gratitude and support for our frontline officers. Their work is beyond commendable and deserves the highest thanks and praise. Our state is stronger and safer because of their service.
Registration for Virtual 2021 Human Trafficking Summit Now Open
Attorney General Ashley Moody announced that registration for the 2021 Human Trafficking Summit is now open. The summit brings together local, state and national leaders working to eradicate all forms of human trafficking. This will be the second year that the summit is in a virtual format, allowing for more participants regardless of geographical location. The 2021 Human Trafficking Summit’s webinar is free, and participant registration is now open.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am dedicated to making Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking. The summit provides training, awareness and resources to advance this mission. You can join the fight against this evil practice by attending these trainings and help us save lives. So please, sign up now. We want you on our team as we work together to rid our state of human trafficking and build a Stronger, Safer Florida.” More.
Tampa Man Convicted of Exploiting Elderly Victim Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution secured a 25-year prison sentence as a habitual felony offender for a man convicted of exploiting the elderly. The jury found Victor Hawkins guilty of stealing more than $230,000 from a 77-year-old relative diagnosed with dementia. In addition to stealing cash, Hawkins also stole the victim’s home and vacant lot and evicted the victim’s wife from the home. Following the 25-year prison sentence, Hawkins will also face 10 years of probation.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “It is absolutely reprehensible that this man would exploit his own relative with dementia and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, thanks to the hard work of my statewide prosecutors, he will be held accountable. Protecting Florida’s seniors is of the utmost importance to me, and we will relentlessly pursue those who aim to exploit seniors for their own personal gain.” More.
Attorney General Moody Sues Flooring Contractors Taking Payment for Work Not Completed
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office is taking legal action against a Lee County flooring company for engaging in deceptive and unfair conduct by failing to finish home repairs after taking down payments from consumers. Bonita Springs Floor Covering Inc., d/b/a Bonita Springs Floor Covering & Remodeling, LLC, and authorized agent Christopher Pascale, allegedly refused to complete contracting work for consumers in Collier and Lee counties. Attorney General Moody’s Office is seeking full restitution for consumers.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Consumers seeking to improve their homes and increase their property’s value reported being swindled by this contracting company, when the company failed to complete renovation projects. The company would demand more money to complete the projects and consumers, some of whom are seniors, were left unremedied or uncompensated when requested refunds were not provided. This is absolutely unacceptable, and my Consumer Protection Division will hold this company accountable for their actions.” More.
Attorney General Moody Highlights App for Reporting Price Gouging in English and Spanish
In the midst of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Attorney General Ashley Moody traveled to Osceola County to highlight the No Scam Price Gouging Reporting App that is available in both English and Spanish. At a news conference hosted by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Attorney General Moody highlighted the first-of-its-kind app that allows consumers to report allegations of price gouging during a declared state of emergency in real time directly to the Attorney General’s Office. The app allows users to attach pictures and copies of receipts directly from smartphones when reporting suspected price gouging.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The No Scam app has helped thousands of consumers report outrageous price increases during declared states of emergency, in English and Spanish. As this year’s hurricane season is already under way, I am encouraging all Floridians to download this free app to be ready to help us fight price gouging.” More.
Miami Beach Resident Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking
On June 29, 2021, a Miami Beach resident was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of human trafficking in connection with his coercing numerous women into prostitution through escort services across south Florida from 2015 to 2017. Ashley Moody, Florida Attorney General, George L. Piro, special agent in charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement.
Robert Atlee Miner V, 30, of Miami Beach, Florida, pleaded guilty to charges of human trafficking, deriving support from the proceeds from prostitution, and money laundering, in addition to other charges, and was sentenced by 15th Judicial District Court Judge Cheryl A. Caracuzzo to 15 years in prison. Miner is required to register as a sexual offender upon his release in connection with the sex trafficking conviction(s). More.
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody visited the Bay County Sheriff’s Office to continue the Thin Line Tribute, an initiative to thank Florida law enforcement for their selfless service.
Attorney General Moody at a news conference at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office promoting hurricane preparedness and the No Scam price gouging reporting app that is available in English and Spanish.
Attorney General Moody with Solicitor General Amit Agarwal, who served as Solicitor General for the Attorney General’s Office for more than five years. Attorney General Moody thanks Amit for his dedicated service to our state and wishes him the best.