AARP Florida Recognizes Dr. Rima Nathan, Director of Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic, as a Community Fraud Fighter

Posted on 06/24/24

AARP Florida recently named Rima Nathan, Director of Florida State University’s Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic, a Florida Fraud Fighter of distinction at the Claude Pepper Center's Opening Minds Through Art event, held June 21.

The Florida Fraud Fighter award honors the dedication of individuals who are actively working to combat the scourge of scams and fraud targeting Floridians of all ages. This year, AARP offices across the country are honoring law enforcement officers, lawmakers, state officials, and community nonprofits who are engaged in keeping people and their money safe with similar Community Fraud Fighter awards.

"No matter your age or income Floridians are under attack each and every day from fraud and deceptive business practices. They need strong allies like Rima involved this fight,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida State Director. 

“AARP Florida’s relentless efforts to combat fraud and exploitation is a huge testament to how focused the organization is on truly bettering the lives of older Americans. I am honored to be recognized as part of the unified front against scammers and to protect the dignity of people as they age,” explains Nathan. “I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work alongside organizations like AARP Florida and the Claude Pepper Center because I sincerely believe that our holistic, team approach to these issues greatly enhances our efforts to combat scams.”

Nathan has served as the director of Florida State University’s Claud Pepper Elder Law Clinic since its founding in 2022, which she developed to help fill the gap in legal services for low-income seniors, while also educating the next generation of law students on the field of elder law. She directs a group of trained students who serve hundreds of seniors in the North Florida area on topics like basic estate planning and healthcare documents, with the goal of preventing future financial exploitation. Her team also travels to local senior and community centers to provide educational programming and on-site legal advice.

Some of the Clinic’s recent accomplishments under Nathan’s direction include:

  • Eliminating nearly $10,000 in cancellation and late fees, which were assessed against older adults in the community who were targeted by predatory solar panel installation providers.
  • Working with the Florida Attorney General’s Office to see these predatory businesses are held accountable.
  • Obtaining financial relief for fixed income seniors whose landlords charged exorbitant move-out fees and unlawfully kept clients’ security deposits.

“These cases highlight the need for civil legal aid and the importance of attorneys donating their time for pro bono services to help protect the billions of dollars lost each year due to exploitation,” Nathan explained. “We cannot let companies continue to believe that they can get away with taking advantage of vulnerable individuals. It is vital that we put a stop to predatory practices and give seniors a voice to fight back against exploitation.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Floridians lost a reported $654 million to illegal scams in 2023 and the average victim lost nearly $600 per fraud. However, these numbers only reveal a fraction of actual theft from fraud, since the crime is notoriously underreported.

AARP Florida is focused on providing people of all ages the tools to spot and avoid scams through various in-person events (including our Florida Shredding events around the state), as well as sharing the latest Florida-specific fraud prevention and response resources on our Florida Fraud Resource Center at aarp.org/flfraud.

By honoring Rima as a Community Fraud Fighter, AARP Florida underscores our commitment to collaborative efforts aimed at combating fraud and safeguarding the financial well-being of Floridians.

This story is provided by AARP Florida. Visit the AARP Florida page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

Explore the free AARP HomeFit Guide

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events

Explore the free AARP Now App
image of two AARP membership cards
Only $12 your first year with Automatic Renewal
  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to AARP The Magazine
  • FREE second membership
Join AARP
Already a member? Renew or Print Card