Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
With Hurricane Matthew bearing down on our east coast, and Florida under a state of emergency, we were forced to cancel our 2016 Human Trafficking Summit. Some forecasters predicted Matthew could make a loop and head back toward our state. We could not ask our hundreds of attendees and guests to face the potential danger.
While we are disheartened by the cancellation of the summit, we are encouraged by the response from our partners in the fight to end human trafficking. The resolve of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, survivors, community leaders and service providers is as strong as ever; and we are gaining ground toward our goal of making Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking.
In 2012, I worked with the state legislature to strengthen Florida’s laws against human trafficking. Since then, the number of cases and investigations by my Office of Statewide Prosecution has increased substantially and using the new statute hundreds more are being pursued by Florida’s 20 State Attorney’s Offices and the three United States Attorney’s Offices in Florida.
We know we cannot win this fight alone, and I am proud to work alongside amazing prosecutors and brave law enforcement officers, as well as, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Florida Department of Children and Families, community leaders and survivors.
Besides putting traffickers behind bars where they belong, working together we have improved training for law enforcement, developed victim recognition tools for service providers, raised awareness for parents and partnered with organizations to help end this horrific crime.
Though the goal is lofty and the task is difficult, we will continue to fight for victims of human trafficking, because saving even one life from this form of modern day slavery is worth the fight.
Winter Park Resident Arrested for Timeshare Fraud
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the arrest of a Winter Park resident in connection to a scheme targeting victims of timeshare fraud. June Andriulaitis, 54, is a licensed timeshare salesperson who did business as Advocates for Senior, LCC.
“We will not allow unscrupulous individuals to further victimize consumers who have already been victimized by timeshare fraud and are seeking financial help," said Attorney General Pam Bondi. "My Office of Statewide Prosecution will continue to partner with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to ensure any scammers seeking to make money with false promises are held accountable.” More.
This week we lost Sandra Jaggard, a tenacious and passionate lawyer who spent her career protecting victims and Florida's citizens from the most violent criminals. She will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones. Read more about Sandra here.