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2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Public assistance fraud.
Public assistance fraud.
414.411 Public assistance fraud.—
(1) The Department of Financial Services shall investigate all public assistance provided to residents of the state or provided to others by the state. In the course of such investigation the department shall examine all records, including electronic benefits transfer records and make inquiry of all persons who may have knowledge as to any irregularity incidental to the disbursement of public moneys, food assistance, or other items or benefits authorizations to recipients. All public assistance recipients, as a condition precedent to qualification for public assistance under chapter 409, chapter 411, or this chapter, must first give in writing, to the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health, the Department of Education, and the Department of Children and Families, as appropriate, and to the Department of Financial Services, consent to make inquiry of past or present employers and records, financial or otherwise.
(2) When conducting an investigation pursuant to this section, the Department of Financial Services may:
(a) Employ persons who have qualifications that are useful in the performance of this duty.
(b) Administer oaths and affirmations.
(c) Issue and serve subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses or the production of business records, books, papers, correspondences, memoranda, and other records. Representatives designated by the department may serve the subpoenas. If a person refuses to obey a subpoena, the court that has jurisdiction in the geographical area where the inquiry is carried out or where the person who has refused the subpoena is found, resides, or transacts business may issue an order requiring compliance with the subpoena. Failure to obey the court order may be punished, civilly or criminally, by the court as contempt. The person refusing the subpoena is liable for costs, including reasonable attorney fees, incurred by the department to obtain an order granting, in whole or in part, a petition to enforce the subpoena.
(3) The results of such investigation shall be reported by the Department of Financial Services to the appropriate legislative committees, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health, the Department of Education, and the Department of Children and Families, and to such others as the department may determine.
(4) The Department of Health and the Department of Children and Families shall report to the Department of Financial Services the final disposition of all cases wherein action has been taken pursuant to s. 414.39, based upon information furnished by the Department of Financial Services.
(5) All lawful fees and expenses of officers and witnesses, expenses incident to taking testimony and transcripts of testimony and proceedings are a proper charge to the Department of Financial Services.
(6) The provisions of this section shall be liberally construed in order to carry out effectively the purposes of this section in the interest of protecting public moneys and other public property.
History.—s. 1, ch. 72-387; s. 1, ch. 77-147; s. 3, ch. 92-125; s. 23, ch. 95-147; s. 49, ch. 96-175; s. 1, ch. 99-8; s. 5, ch. 99-333; s. 17, ch. 2006-176; s. 11, ch. 2010-144; s. 43, ch. 2010-209; s. 320, ch. 2011-142; s. 232, ch. 2014-19; s. 1, ch. 2014-69; s. 8, ch. 2018-102.
Note.—Former s. 11.50; s. 943.401.