Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today announced a nationwide health care fraud takedown stopping schemes defrauding Medicare and Medicaid out of $2 billion. [Read more…] about Massive Nationwide Health Care Fraud Takedown
Attorney General Pam Bondi
Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Florida Association of School Resource Officers today named Marion County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Jimmy Long the 2018 School Resource Officer of the Year. Corporal Long is being recognized for his quick thinking and heroic action in responding to a school shooting on April 20, 2018.
“Corporal Long is the true definition of a hero. After hearing a gunshot on the campus of Forest High School, Corporal Long did not hesitate to protect the lives of innocent high schoolers,” said Attorney General Bondi. “Corporal Long’s actions undoubtingly saved many lives and I am thankful for his courage. May his quick and selfless response be a testament to the bravery required of a school resource officer. Thank you, Corporal Long.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi released the following statement regarding the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy:
“Seventy-four years ago today, brave Americans and allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy—my Uncle Raymond, an 18 year-old Army private, was one of them. Days after the battle, he was critically wounded and later died from his injuries. Although I never knew my Uncle Raymond, I am immensely proud to call him my uncle and eternally grateful for his sacrifice and the sacrifices of all our veterans and service members who put their lives on the line so we can live free.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi today named Orlando Police Department Lieutenant Scott Smith as the 2017 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Attorney General Bondi recognized Lieutenant Smith and seven other officers from across the state for their dedication and courage protecting Floridians.
“I am eternally grateful for these nominees and all our brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to keep us safe,” said Attorney General Bondi. “We cannot thank these officers enough for the sacrifices they and their families make daily to protect our communities.”
On June 12, 2016, Lieutenant Scott Smith was one of the Watch Commanders during the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando. This incident would become the second deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history. Smith organized and led a team into the nightclub. Smith shot at the suspect inside the building, allowing responding officers to rescue patrons and employees still inside the club.
Smith played a critical role during the law enforcement response to the Pulse nightclub attack. Smith commanded the initial tactical response as a first responder. Smith led officers into the building, confronting the active shooter with return fire, limiting the shooter’s access to further victims. SWAT team members, including Smith, returned fire, killing the suspect. During a dangerous situation, Smith displayed commendable acts of valor and heroism.
A selection committee appointed by Attorney General Bondi considered the distinguished group of nominees from state agencies and organizations.
The following law enforcement officers are the additional nominees:
- Detective Jeff Batz, Florida Department of Financial Services;
- Officer Schiefer S. Buckles, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement;
- Special Agent Don Cannon, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami Regional Operations Center;
- Detective Wolfgang Daniel, Fort Myers Police Department, Special Investigations Group;
- Deputy Justin Ferrari, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office;
- Detective Sandra Marquez, City of Aventura Police Department; and
- Corporal Julio Torres, Florida Highway Patrol.
For more information on the nominees’ accomplishments, click here.
Attorney General Pam Bondi will present the 2017 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. in Tallahassee.
WHO: Attorney General Pam Bondi
WHAT: Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Ceremony
WHEN: Wednesday, May 16, 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Cabinet Meeting Room
The Capitol, LL-03
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis issued the following statement regarding Attorney General Pam Bondi’s announcment that her office has filed an action in state court against some of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in the national opioid crisis:
“Attorney General Pam Bondi has been a fearless warrior against the opioid epidemic. She is the leader Florida families impacted by this crisis can count on. No matter how big the opponent is, she has taken on every facet of this epidemic.
“Opioids have taken lives, destroyed families, and threatened our first responders’ safety and resources. From investigating fraudulent drug treatment centers to the exponentially higher prescribing rates in the workers’ compensation system, my office has seen the impacts of the opioid epidemic first-hand as we continue working to protect Floridians. National data shows that in 2016 injured workers who were prescribed opioids received three times the US prescribing rate. The opioid crisis has seeped into the workers’ compensation system, and is the foundation for unscrupulous drug treatment centers who victimize individuals for their own personal gain.
“I’m honored to serve with Attorney General Bondi on the Florida Cabinet, and fully support her efforts to combat our state and nation’s opioid epidemic.”
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today participated in Attorney General Pam Bondi’s announcement of a lawsuit against major opioid manufacturers and distributors. The following are excerpts from his remarks:
“I can’t tell you how proud I am to stand beside you as your partner on the Cabinet in fighting the scourge that is the opioid crisis and to be joined by so many men and women who are on the front lines, by the family members who have suffered and sacrificed so much because of the pain of the opioid crisis in our state.
“Our first responders, our EMTs, our fire rescue, our law enforcement officials, who not only are protecting the public, but are putting themselves at risk even with a simple traffic stop.
“As we have traveled the state and unpeeled all of the layers of this opioid crisis, the sad, recurring theme is this: in every community, they’ve had to add staff to the Medical Examiner’s Office and add space to the morgue. That is how serious the opioid crisis is.
“I know that Attorney General Bondi does not take this lightly, and when she brings a lawsuit of this magnitude on behalf of the residents of the third largest state in the country, you’re already in the crosshairs.
“This lawsuit will result in the resources for additional treatment, prevention, awareness, additional facilities, like this, additional tools and support for the men and women in law enforcement, so that we can break the hold that this opioid crisis has on our state and on our nation.
“Our legislative leaders have led the way, Speaker Corcoran, Senator Simpson, Representative Boyd, and Attorney General Bondi who has been a national leader in shutting down pill mills, a global leader in saving our children from human trafficking and now, yet again, serving and protecting Floridians in shutting down the opioid crisis that’s hollowing out our communities.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi today filed an action in state court against some of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in the national opioid crisis. The complaint names as defendants opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma L.P., Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cephalon, Inc., and Allergan plc and related companies, and opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., McKesson Corporation, and Mallinckrodt LLC and related company.
“We are in the midst of a national opioid crisis claiming 175 lives a day nationally and 15 lives a day in Florida, and I will not tolerate anyone profiting from the pain and suffering of Floridians,” said Attorney General Bondi. “The complaint I filed today, seeks to hold some of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers and distributors responsible for their role in this crisis and seeks payment for the pain and destruction their actions have caused Florida and its citizens.”
The opioid manufacturers allegedly used a campaign of misrepresentations and omissions about the use of opioids to doctors and consumers in order to increase prescriptions and opioid use, including false statements about the addictive nature of opioids and omissions of the severe risks posed by taking opioids. The opioid distributors allegedly shipped inordinately high volumes of opioids to customers in Florida and failed to report these suspicious orders of opioids, thereby fueling widespread diversion of opioids throughout the state.
The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the opioid manufacturers used front organizations and key opinion leaders to promote false messages about opioids. This conduct was particularly abhorrent because the front organizations and key opinion leaders appeared to be neutral advocates for the use of opioids to treat chronic pain but were actually paid mouthpieces of the manufacturers. The distributors failed in their duties under Florida law to stop the suspiciously high orders of opioids they received. Instead, the distributors placed profit over safety and continued filling the suspicious opioid orders. In the complaint filed in Pasco County Circuit Court, the Attorney General’s Office alleged that the defendants’ actions violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, the Florida RICO Act, and violated common law public nuisance and negligence. The complaint seeks damages, injunctive relief, restitution, and civil penalties for defendants’ conduct.
To view the complaint, click here.
To view some of the Attorney General’s additional efforts to combat opioid abuse, click here.
Attorney General Pam Bondi will make a major announcement about combating the national opioid crisis tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in Tampa.
WHO: Attorney General Pam Bondi
WHAT: Announcement regarding the national opioid crisis
WHEN: Tuesday, May 15, 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Riverside Recovery Center
4004 North Riverside Dr.
Tampa, Fla. 33603
Members of the media should arrive early and check in at the front desk to receive press credentials.
Attorney General Pam Bondi today filed a complaint against Icebox Cafe, L.C. and Icebox Cafe at MIA, LLC, Miami restaurants, for allegedly supplying non-locally sourced or sustainable products as claimed on restaurant menus. Icebox Cafe at MIA, a self-proclaimed farm-to-table eatery, allegedly misled customers by claiming the restaurant received state certification as a local provider and sold local products. However, national food distributor, SYSCO, provided much of the food sold.
“Many Floridians want to know where and how their food was grown, and we will not stand for any restaurant misrepresenting the origin of the produce they sell to deceive customers seeking locally-sourced, fresh food,” said Attorney General Bondi.
Farm-to-table is a growing movement for consumers looking for a more health-conscious lifestyle, willing to pay top dollar for the freshness and uniqueness these restaurants provide. Attorney General Bondi’s Office along with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are currently looking into the business practices of so-called farm-to-table restaurants across the state to ensure consumers are not being deceived.
The Icebox Cafe eateries are allegedly in violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, as a result of allegedly making false or misleading statements, as well as material omissions regarding the food products offered and sold to consumers.
Some examples cited in the complaint include:
- Claiming one restaurant sold produce from Paradise Farms, in Homestead with no record of purchase from this source;
- Offering fish such as wild salmon, with no invoices substantiating that claim; and
- Falsely professing to create Garden-to-Glass and Farm-to-Bar cocktails made with ingredients often picked from a nearby garden.
The Attorney General’s complaint seeks permanent injunctive relief against the defendants. The companies also face civil penalties for violations of FDUTPA.
To view a copy of the complaint filed, click here.