State recovers nearly $5M in misused funds from Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Unused funds would be used for paid time off, raises, Florida attorney general says

Gov. Ron DeSantis joins Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to announce recovery of $5 million from Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (WKMG) (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida recovered nearly $5 million in misused funds by a domestic violence nonprofit in the form of raises and paid time off that were meant to go toward victims, according to the state’s attorney general.

Gov. Ron DeSantis joined Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Thursday in Orlando to make the announcement of a settlement reached between the Department of Children and Families and the attorney general against the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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“The settlement requires the foundation to liquidate all remaining assets and pay domestic violence centers $1.1 million to serve survivors of domestic violence,” DeSantis said.

Moody said during the news conference that Tiffany Carr, the former CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is accused of stacking the organization’s board — which determined how funds would be distributed — with people who were “allegiant to her” and “participated in this scheme to cover up this excessive compensation.”

The attorney general said when the organization was supposed to return unused money not given directly to domestic violence centers back to the state, Carr “would arrange for the modification of her compensation in the form of bonuses, raises and, particularly, paid time off.”

“This allowed them to conceal the excessive compensation to Tiffany Carr. Paid time off would then be shown as a liability. It would not be reported immediately as compensation and so, over years, this was allowed to remain concealed, because it kept rolling over and accruing,” she said.

Moody said the paid time off was “so excessive” when it rolled over that it amounted to millions of dollars, prompting calls for restructuring of the organization. She said in one year, Carr received 360 days of paid time off and received 465 days of paid time off in another year.

“Over a three-year period after taxes, she received millions, and the compensation was so excessive that finally when this money was redeemed, just prior to us coming into office, it triggered an excessive executive compensation tax liability under IRS rules costing a nonprofit $1 million in tax penalties,” Moody said.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.