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Attorney General Chris Carr: We’re Working to Prosecute Criminals, Protect Georgians (and Taxpayer Dollars)

Attorney General Chris Carr today provided an update on his office’s work to prosecute criminals and protect Georgians and their taxpayer dollars:

“It is the paramount duty of the government to protect person and property,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “My approach to public safety is simple. I will not waiver when it comes to keeping people safe. It is and will always be our office’s top priority to stop criminals and protect Georgians.”

In addition to the traditional responsibilities of the Office of the Attorney General, since taking office, Carr has identified five key public safety issues for the office to focus on: human trafficking, gang activity, public corruption, opioid abuse and elder abuse.

Human Trafficking

Carr identified combatting human trafficking as priority number one on his first day in office. From a policy perspective, the office works with local, state and federal officials to ensure that prosecutors and law enforcement have the strongest possible tools to build cases against buyers and traffickers and providers and rehabilitation specialists have resources to help victims heal.

In 2019, Carr secured the support and resources to implement a first-of-its-kind, statewide Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit at the Office of the Attorney General. He built the Unit with dedicated prosecutors, criminal investigators and analysts and a victim advocate. Their chief goal is to rescue victims and put buyers and traffickers behind bars. This work is moving the needle significantly. The Unit has 18 open cases spanning 9 counties. As a result of their efforts, 17 traffickers have been arrested and 44 victims have been rescued. The Unit is currently targeting 122 additional victim rescues and building cases against 49 buyers and traffickers.

Significant case updates include:

Gang Activity

Gangs are behind the crime wave that is affecting Georgia communities, and members are willing to commit horrific acts to help fuel their illegal activities. Carr believes we must work with our federal, state and local partners to bring everyone together to combat gangs. That is why he launched the Georgia Anti-Gang Network in 2018 to strengthen multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions; improve intelligence-sharing capabilities; stop recruitment; and increase training efforts.

Additionally, Carr and his office will continue to vigorously prosecute gang members for their crimes. He shares more about the office’s efforts in this opinion editorial: We can’t tolerate gang criminals terrorizing Georgians (AJC, June 8, 2021).

Significant case updates include:

 Public Corruption

Acts of fraud and corruption have no place in Georgia’s state government. Those who are trusted to be public servants must discharge their duties ethically and honestly, and when they do not, Carr’s office works with law enforcement partners to hold them accountable.

Significant case updates include:

Carr’s Medicaid Fraud Division consists of attorneys, investigators, auditors, nurses and support staff which investigate allegations of provider fraud that drives up the cost of the taxpayer funded Georgia Medicaid program. In Fiscal Year 2020, Carr’s Medicaid Fraud Division obtained more than $21 million in judgments, settlements and recoveries involving the state’s program through civil enforcement actions. During that same time period, 17 individuals, ranging from physicians and pharmacists to personal home aides, were convicted on criminal charges for their roles in fraud perpetrated upon the state’s program.

Opioids 

Carr created the Statewide Opioid Task Force to provide an infrastructure of communication among anyone impacted by the opioid crisis. Membership exceeds 400 individuals, groups and entities from the public and private sector all united by the mission to curb opioid misuse in Georgia. He also launched a digital platform, DoseofRealityGa.org, to help educate students, parents, teachers, business owners, coaches, medical professionals and veterans about the dangers of misusing opioids.

Carr has also been working to hold accountable all that may have contributed to this issue – like those abusing a medical license to overprescribe, those selling opioid illegally and distributors and manufacturers that misled the public about the dangers of opioids and addiction. It is Carr’s goal to ensure any settlement funds go to help serve those most harmed by the crisis – especially rural communities – and to help prevent misuse altogether.

Significant case updates include:

Carr also continues to work with the private sector to implement innovative measures to combat the opioid epidemic – like CVS time-delay safes.

Elder Abuse

Carr’s office will not allow the abuse of our older and at-risk adults – whether physical, emotional, financial or by neglect. Carr believes we must stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, and the office has fought hard to protect Georgia’s older, at-risk Georgians by increasing education about how to avoid scams as well as putting criminals seeking to exploit our elders behind bars.

Significant announcements include:

The Medicaid Fraud Division also investigates instances of abuse, neglect, and exploitation against our state’s most vulnerable – including the disabled and the elderly. The Division works with federal, state, and local agencies to investigate nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes to safeguard Georgia’s most vulnerable. The Division maintains a publicly available phone number and email address for citizens to report instances of fraud, abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

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