Attorney General Pam Bondi’s eight years of dedicated service to Floridians and the great state of Florida is coming to an end. Serving two terms in office, Attorney General Bondi undertook dozens of major state and national initiatives, including filing the most comprehensive state litigation to date regarding the national opioid crisis, playing a leading role in achieving the National Mortgage Settlement that ultimately resulted in $56 billion in total relief nationally, suing BP and other responsible parties in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill case and then settling for more than $2 billion in economic relief for Florida alone, and much more.
Since 2011, Attorney General Bondi worked aggressively to shut down pill mills, combat opioid abuse, ban synthetic drugs, end human trafficking, test previously unprocessed sexual assault kits, develop a school safety app to prevent school shootings, recover more than $1 billion in consumer protection, antitrust, and false claims matters (not counting the National Mortgage Settlement and BP), obtain more than $870 million in settlements and judgments through the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, prosecute hundreds of multi-judicial circuit criminal cases, defend Florida’s laws and constitution, and guard against federal overreach.
“It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve the people of this great state, and lead so many important initiatives that improved the lives of Floridians,” said Attorney General Bondi. “I leave this office grateful for the tremendous strides we made to reduce crime, save lives, protect consumers, improve school safety, raise awareness of human trafficking, defend Florida and so much more.”
Below are just a few highlights from Attorney General Bondi’s eight years of service:
Fighting drug abuse in Florida and nationwide, Attorney General Bondi:
- Filed the most comprehensive litigation against some of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers and distributors in the country for playing a role in the national opioid crisis;
- Co-authored the national report on combating the opioid crisis as a member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis;
- Worked with state lawmakers to pass a ban on fentanyl trafficking;
- Led efforts calling for state legislation to prevent opioid addiction by limiting initial prescriptions for opioid-based medications;
- Fought to establish and fund the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database and to allow interstate PDMP data-sharing to help stop doctor shopping nationwide;
- Chaired the Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns, producing a comprehensive action report to help better serve expectant mothers and babies;
- Co-chaired the National Association of Attorneys General Substance Abuse Committee;
- Emergency scheduled and worked with lawmakers to permanently ban deadly synthetic drugs; and
- Championed comprehensive legislation to shut down pill mills and help Florida shed the title of Pill Mill Capital of the Country.
Leading efforts to make Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking, Attorney General Bondi:
- Championed comprehensive legislation to combine Florida’s existing human trafficking statutes and increase penalties against human traffickers;
- Founded and chaired the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking to identify counselling and resources for trafficking survivors;
- Hosted the annual Human Trafficking Summit to bring together stakeholders to share strategies for fighting human trafficking and protect survivors;
- Launched YouCanStopHT.com to educate the public about how to spot and report human trafficking; and
- Led the statewide awareness campaign From Instant Message to Instant Nightmare to educate parents about protecting children from sex traffickers.
Recovering more than $11 billion for consumers in Florida and nationwide through restitution, refunds, and other relief, Attorney General Bondi:
- Co-led the settlement discussions that resulted in what ultimately totaled $56 billion in consumer relief from the state-federal agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, with more than $9.5 billion in relief going to Florida homeowners in the form of principal reductions, loan modifications, homeowner payments, and other relief;
- Co-led the negotiations that resulted in additional settlements with four other large mortgage servicers for an additional $1 billion in consumer relief nationally;
- Obtained a $94 million settlement with KB Home over construction and warranty issues involving stucco defects;
- Obtained over $136 million nationally in a multistate settlement with Chase bank to reform its credit card debt collection practices, including over $20 million in relief to Florida that provided over 5,000 Florida Chase customers more than $4.6 million in restitution, a civil penalty of $1.6 million, and over $15 million for Florida legal services, financial literacy, and other programs to assist Floridians with managing debt;
- Secured significant data breach settlements totaling nearly $10 million for Florida and heightened awareness about the importance of consumer information security;
- Obtained a significant settlement with Avis Rent a Car to resolve allegations regarding inadequate disclosures of toll-related fees charged by the companies and requiring restitution to qualified customers, and certain changes in their business and disclosure practices;
- Pushed for the passage of the Timeshare Resale Accountability Act to help combat timeshare resale fraud. Since the law passed, complaints that once numbered more than 10,000 a year were reduced by more than 90 percent;
- Worked with legislators to pass the Military Protection Act, enhancing the penalties available under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act for offenses against military members and their families from $10,000 to $15,000 per incident;
- Pushed for the passage of the Florida Information and Protection Act, which overhauled the existing statute and provided for enhanced notification requirements to the Department of Legal Affairs and affected consumers, among other things;
- Aggressively pursued home solicitation and contractor scams; household moving scams; price gouging; foreclosure rescue scams; debt relief and credit card interest rate reduction scams; student loan debt relief scams; unfair debt collection and debt buyer practices; consumer lending scams; travel club schemes; timeshare resale scams; charity scams; data breaches, pharmaceutical off-label and surgical device marketing; business-to-business scams; government imposter and corporate filing scams; and scams targeting Florida seniors and military, among others; and
- Recovered more than $200 million from price-fixing, bid-rigging, market manipulation, complex consumer, and false claims cases involving industries such as the construction, financial, pharmaceutical and technology industries.
Obtaining more than $870 million in judgments and settlements through her Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Attorney General Bondi:
- Reached a joint federal-multistate settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals worth more than $1.6 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations of unlawful marketing practices, Florida receiving $59 million from the settlement;
- Helped negotiate a federal-multistate settlement over allegations of healthcare fraud at GlaxoSmithKline, worth $3 billion, with Florida receiving $56 million;
- Led the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Unit team in negotiations with WellCare in a $137 million settlement that resulted in $54 million for Florida; and
- Received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s Top Award for Excellence in Fighting Fraud, Waste and Abuse in 2017 for fighting Medicaid fraud and recovering millions of dollars in lost funds.
Attorney General Bondi also led the effort to secure funding to process Florida’s previously unprocessed sexual assault kits, testing more than 7,000 kits to date.
As a member of the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission, Attorney General Bondi successfully sponsored and passed Amendment 13 to phase out Greyhound racing in Florida. In November 2018, an overwhelming majority of voters cast ballots in favor of Amendment 13. As a member of the Florida Cabinet, Attorney General Bondi helped find homes for more than 70 displaced dogs by showcasing the animals at Florida Cabinet meetings.
These are just some of the highlights from Attorney General Bondi’s eight years as Florida’s chief legal officer. Furthermore, Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution successfully prosecuted hundreds of drug trafficking, human trafficking, retail theft and other organized crime cases. Attorney General Bondi’s Consumer Protection Division, launched a military and veterans assistance program (MVAP) to protect U.S. service members. Attorney General Bondi’s Victim’s Compensation Bureau oversaw the distribution of billions of dollars in payments and services to crime victims. Attorney General Bondi’s Solicitor General won numerous precedent-setting cases, defending Florida’s laws and state constitution, and the Criminal Appeals and Complex Litigation Divisions won numerous additional important cases.
Florida will continue to benefit from Attorney General Bondi’s service for decades to come.