The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General is the enforcement authority for all multi-circuit violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The Division protects consumers by initiating investigations against entities that employ unfair methods of competition or unconscionable, deceptive and unfair practices in any trade or commerce.
The Division investigates the activities of entities with multi-circuit activities, as the State Attorney has primary jurisdiction for single circuit activity. In addition, the Division participates in investigations of national companies in cooperation with other states and the Federal Trade Commission.
In conjunction with its authority under the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices law, the Division is responsible for enforcement of the civil provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. The Division has investigative and litigation responsibilities related to enterprises involved in continuing patterns of enumerated illegal activities including fraud, theft and misleading advertising.
Additionally, the Attorney General has co-enforcement authority under the Florida False Claims Act. The majority of these cases fall within the purview of Medicaid Fraud, but all other subject matters are reviewed and investigated by this Division.
The Division’s newly created CyberFraud Section investigates deceptive advertising on the Internet, and has had great success in changing advertising standards for that medium.
The Consumer Protection Division regularly handles hundreds of active civil cases. Since 2011, the Division resolved 287 investigations and generated $620 million in recoveries including $111 million in restitution to consumers excluding Florida’s share of the National Mortgage Settlement.