Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Florida won back $5 million in a settlement from a lawsuit the state filed against the nonprofit group, the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV). The figure at the center of the suit was Tiffany Carr, who worked at the coalition for decades. She was accused of defrauding the State of Florida and the federal government by convincing the board of directors to pay her millions of dollars, as her salary, over years.
“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,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “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.
DeSantis also noted he is thankful the dollars will be paid back to the state and that there was a correction to the injustice.
“Today’s settlement is a win in our fight to recover money that was intended to help families rebuild after facing domestic violence,” said DeSantis. “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.”
Carr will have to pay $2.1 million cash, the insurance agency representing the FCADV will be required to pay $1.7 million to the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and former FCADV officers Patricia Duarte and Sandra Barnett will pay a total of $60,000.
DeSantis launched the investigation into FCADV after reports indicated staffers were being paid large sums of money while financial disclosures provided to DCF were inaccurate. The Florida Legislature voted allow DCF to work directly with providers to ensure people received services to assist with their domestic violence trauma.
Carr claimed to have a brain tumor, to which she never provided medical proof, and was able to cash in on time off with the help of a “compensation committee.” The fake committee consisted of select members of the board. The funds from her paid time off were originally intended to go to victims and families of domestic violence.
Carr resigned from her post at FCADV in 2019 and the organization was ordered to dissolve and its assets liquidated.
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Florida’s Historic Capitol and Florida State Capitol” by Michael Rivera CC BY-SA 3.0.