Seven people have been arrested after an investigation into hundreds of disabled-parking placards being fraudulently obtained and sold, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said Friday.
The Florida Highway Patrol began investigating after the department was contacted in February by the tax collector’s office in Liberty County in rural North Florida.
The tax collector’s office said a large number of placards had been issued to a person in Liberty County on behalf of South Florida residents, according to a news release from the department.
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A retired pediatrician whose name was used in applying for the placards said he was unaware of the applications.
The department said the case involves about 700 placards and that investigators discovered online ads for their sale.
“These placards are reserved for Floridians with mobility issues, and it is extremely infuriating that the defendants exploited this state-run program,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a prepared statement Friday. “It’s even more disheartening that there were hundreds of buyers eager to pay for the ill-gotten privilege to essentially steal parking spots from people with disabilities.”
In addition to the seven people arrested, the news release said warrants have been issued for four others.
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