Attorney General Ashley Moody (R-FL) has made protecting Floridians from financial fraud a top priority. Now her office is charging a non-profit director for stealing almost $3 million.
Felicia Senetta Ali, owner, and director of Rayfield School of Excellence, is charged with over-billing the State of Florida and defrauding taxpayers in a scheme of lying about feeding children in need. The organization is supposed to provide meals to underprivileged children during the summer season.
Ali committed fraud by inflating the reported number of meals provided, which defrauded state funds of $2.8 million. The investigation uncovered Ali’s financial records that showed personal expenditures from the nonprofit account, including cash withdrawals, residential mortgage payments, and checks to Ali’s husband.
AG Moody commented on the recent developments, "This nonprofit owner took advantage of an essential government program providing free meals to vulnerable and hungry children to line her own pocket. Her deliberate and fraudulent scheme not only stole from valuable state resources but from Florida taxpayers. Thankfully, my statewide prosecutors working with the Miami-Dade Police Department put an end to her criminal racket and she will now face her crimes in court."
The Miami-Dade Police Department's Public Corruption Section aided in the investigation, "It’s despicable to see someone violate the community’s trust by utilizing such a touching subject as child hunger," said Miami-Dade Police Department Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III adding, "I am extremely proud of the tireless work by the Miami-Dade Police Department, Public Corruption Section investigators and the collaborative efforts of the Attorney General Ashley Moody’s statewide prosecutors, the Miramar Police Department and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Public Corruption Taskforce. Every dollar stolen, is not only stolen from the community but from the needy children as well. We all shall come together to continue the fight against child hunger."
Ali is facing five felonies, including one count of organized scheme to defraud over $50,000, one count of grand theft over $100,000, and three counts of communications fraud. Attorney General Moody’s Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Nicole Garcia will prosecute the case