Former CEO of Florida domestic violence organization arrested
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - September 26 Update
Former CEO Tiffany Carr, 54, of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence was arrested after turning herself in for facing felony charges following a two-year investigation into fraud at the domestic violence organization, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The former CEO turned herself in at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina on September 25, for an arrest warrant that had been active for her since September 20, according to FDLE.
The investigation revealed that Carr and Patricia Duarte, the chief financial officer of the organization, conducted a scheme to fraudulently award themselves personal time off (PTO) by using funds that were provided through grants, FDLE says. Those grants were intended to assist with funding domestic violence shelters across Florida, FDLE says.
According to arrest documents, members of the FCADV Executive Committee told investigators that Carr would “manipulate them for her gain,” and as a result, coerce the committee to approve the extra PTO. Committee members cited one instance in which Carr “advised them she had a brain tumor and would need large amounts of time off for treatment and potentially brain surgery which would require Carr to miss up to one year of work.”
Committee members said they never received official medical documentation that confirmed a tumor diagnosis. One member told investigators that she “offered to take Carr for treatment to the Mayo Clinic,” but that Carr declined help.
Carr was charged with one count each of organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and official misconduct, all felonies, according to FDLE.
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case, according to FDLE.
Former CEO Tiffany Carr and Chief Financial Officer Patricia Duarte of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence are both facing felony charges following a two-year Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into fraud at the domestic violence organization.
According to FDLE, Carr and Duarte have been charged with one count each of organized schemes to defraud, grand theft and official misconduct. They’re accused of taking money from grants meant to assist in funding domestic violence shelters across Florida, and instead illegally granting themselves personal time off.
Duarte was arrested after turning herself into Leon County Jail Wednesday and an arrest warrant was issued for Carr.
An investigation into the Domestic Violence Coalition started in 2021. It revealed that both Carr and Duarte submitted false quarterly reports, charged for services that were never provided and billed the state for vacant positions, according to FDLE.
FDLE says the funds were used for excessive bonuses and leave payouts to both suspects. According to FDLE, $3.4 million was issued to Carr and $291,000 to Duarte.
Back in February 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that would remove the Domestic Violence Coalition as the sole distributor of state domestic violence services funding. A 2021 executive order dissolved the group.
Have a news tip or see an error that needs correction? Write us here. Please include the article's headline in your message.
Keep up with all the biggest headlines on the WCTV News app. Click here to download it now.
Copyright 2023 WCTV. All rights reserved.