Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
The state is making great progress toward our goal of eliminating the backlog of untested sexual assault kits. This week, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released the latest Sexual Assault Kit Progress Report highlighting the number of kits tested so far. As of July 1, 3,663 previously untested kits have been processed unlocking DNA evidence that has led to 843 hits in the DNA database known as CODIS.
To view the most recent progress report, click here.
As a career prosecutor and Florida’s Attorney General, I know firsthand how important DNA evidence is in arresting and prosecuting offenders. That is why in 2015, I gathered law enforcement, lawmakers, victims and advocates to champion for additional resources to begin gathering and testing these kits. At the time, we did not know exactly how many untested kits there were—but soon FDLE produced a statewide assessment, identifying a backlog of 8,600 kits.
Defining the backlog allowed us to quickly work with the state legislature to secure resources to meet the challenge. In the 2016 Legislative Session, working with law enforcement, lawmakers, victims and advocates, we secured millions of dollars to begin testing these kits. We also advocated for legislation to help expedite the lab testing of all DNA evidence in an effort prevent a future backlog.
This progress report marks one year since the state began this vital public safety effort and I am proud of the progress we have made. With less than 5,000 kits left to test, I am confident we will achieve our goal, crimes will be solved and Florida will be a little safer for our efforts.
AG Bondi’s Statewide Prosecutor Secures Death Sentence for Man Convicted of Killing Infant Son
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Statewide Prosecutor Nick Cox and State Attorney Brad King led the prosecution that secured a death sentence for a man convicted of killing his three-month-old son. Last week, Larry Perry was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing his son, Ayden. Tuesday evening an Osceola County jury returned a unanimous verdict recommending Judge Jon Morgan sentence Perry to death.
This case is one of more than 20 reassigned from State Attorney Aramis Ayala’s Office to State Attorney Brad King’s Office, after Ayala stated she, “will not be seeking death penalty in cases handled in my office.” Attorney General Bondi immediately offered the assistance of her Office of Statewide Prosecution to King to handle some of the reassigned death cases and ensure justice is served.
This is the first such case prosecuted by Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution announced the conviction and sentencing of two brothers in connection to drug trafficking. A Hillsborough County jury found Pablo Romero-Concepcion and Eugenio Romero-Concepcion guilty of conspiracy to traffic heroin, 28 grams or more. The Honorable J. Rogers Padgett, Senior Circuit Judge for the 13th Judicial Circuit, sentenced both brothers to 25 years in prison and imposed $500,000 fines. More.
Doctor Pleads Guilty in Multi-Million Dollar Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme Involving Sober Homes and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Centers
A doctor pled guilty for his participation in a multi-million dollar health care fraud and money laundering scheme that involved the filing of fraudulent insurance claim forms and defrauded health care benefit programs. Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Benjamin G. Greenberg, Attorney General Pam Bondi, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and several more local, state and federal agencies announced that Joaquin Mendez, 52, of Miramar, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. More.
10 Assisted Living Facility Owners Sentenced in Health Care Kickback Scheme
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the sentencing of 10 Miami-Dade County assisted living facility owners for participating in a scheme to receive health care kickbacks.
The defendants conspired with the former owner of Florida Pharmacy to receive kickbacks and bribes in exchange for referring beneficiaries living in their facilities for prescription medication and durable medical equipment paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. The assisted living facility owners’ participation in the fraudulent scheme violated their Medicaid provider agreement as well as federal and state anti-kickback rules and regulations. More.
Former FAMU Admissions Officer Sentenced for Bribery
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the sentence of a former admissions officer with the Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University. Leman Junior Ulee, 46, illegally charged a fee to alter the academic records of prospective students, who otherwise may not have been admitted into the university.
Following an FDLE investigation, authorities arrested Ulee in November 2016 for accepting bribes in exchange for admitting students. These students either did not qualify for admission or needed to go to a summer program as a condition of admission, but in exchange for direct payments, Ulee struck such requirements. More.
Brothers Sentenced in Connection to Heroin Trafficking in Florida
Attorney General Pam Bondi congratulates Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Gary Malak for receiving the Florida Retail Federation’s Prosecutor of the Year award for his superb work on a retail theft case. Attorney General Bondi thanks Gary for his continued hard work and dedication to the people of Florida.