Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Miami Field Division today arrested a doctor and two office managers on charges related to operating a pill mill. According to a lengthy undercover investigation, Dr. Armando Falcon owned and operated Pain Center of Cutler Bay, a pain management clinic in South Florida, as a cover to illegally sell large quantities of prescription painkillers. [Read more…] about Attorney General Bondi and DEA Shut Down Pill Mill
Attorney General Bondi
Operation Donate with Honor intends to help donors spot and avoid dubious fundraising solicitations
Attorney General Pam Bondi, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, the Federal Trade Commission, charity regulators and state attorneys general from around the country today announced Operation Donate with Honor.
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of seven individuals for operating a complex shoplifting scheme. The theft ring targeted specific items sold at several major retail stores. Antoun Arbaji, the principal codefendant and his girlfriend, oversaw two crews of large-scale shoplifters led by female counterparts responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars of stolen goods. Six of the arrestees have lengthy criminal histories rendering them eligible for prosecution as habitual offenders, facing up to life in prison.
According to the investigation, the defendants entered Publix, Target, Walmart and Winn-Dixie retail stores in a coordinated effort to fill empty plastic totes or suitcases with merchandise, including expensive items, and walked out of the store. If approached by store management the defendants would abandon the property and flee. When the theft ring successfully stole items, they would attempt to sell the stolen goods online.
In total, the defendants are responsible for more than 100 incidents, often for several thousand dollars each, in Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties.
The following defendants are facing charges related to the theft ring:
- Antoun Arbaji;
- Dantavia Berry;
- Deedra Berry;
- Brian Harris;
- Latoya Shurman;
- Natasha Soukseunchay; and
- Jennifer Upton
Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute this case.
As Texas continues to feel the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking Floridians who want to help to use caution when donating. Scammers will often use natural disasters to prey on the good intentions of others, but there are steps consumers can take to protect against charity-related scams.
“As Floridians, we know all too well the destruction a massive hurricane can cause and how vital charitable donations are in helping communities recover—but before you give, please take steps to ensure your donation will be used to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, not a scammer exploiting the goodwill of Floridians,” said Attorney General Bondi.
Anyone wishing to donate can follow these tips to make sure gifts are used to help victims and Texas communities recover from Harvey:
- Be proactive and donate to a reputable charity, rather than wait to be solicited;
- When giving, consider donating to an established disaster-relief charity, such as RedCross.org;
- Research a charity by using Charity Navigator and by contacting the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to determine whether the charity is registered to solicit donations in Florida;
- Avoid solicitors using high-pressure tactics or hesitant to provide more information about a charitable organization;
- If donating online at a fundraising site, be sure to confirm the identity of the recipient and be careful when providing any personal contact information; and
- Contact the Attorney General’s Office at (866) 9-NO-SCAM or call the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at (703) 276-0100 to determine if there are any complaints against a charity.
For more information about charity scams and tips to avoid such scams, Attorney General Bondi urges consumers to review the Attorney General’s Hurricane Preparedness Guide.
Consumers who believe they have been a victim of a scam or other fraudulent activity may file a complaint by calling (866) 9-NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
Attorney General Pam Bondi on Wednesday moderated President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s Women’s Empowerment Panel at the White House. The panel included members of the President’s Cabinet: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma. More than 200 women from across the country were in attendance.
“I am honored to have served as the moderator for President Trump and the First Lady’s Women’s Empowerment Panel at the White House,” said Attorney General Bondi. “As Florida’s first female attorney general, it was a privilege to discuss important women’s issues with such dedicated national leaders.”
To watch remarks from President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the panel, click here.