Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 299 • July 29, 2016
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing

This week, in recognition of our nation’s first Military Consumer Protection Month, I offered tips and resources directly to service members and veterans online. Scammers will sometimes target our active service members while they are on deployment or set up fraudulent charities that exploit our veterans.

This is absolutely despicable and I am dedicated to doing everything in my power to protect the brave men and women who risk their lives to defend us.

In recognition of this important month, I released my new Military Consumer Protection Guide which is full of information and tips about predatory lending practices, identity theft, debt collection, foreclosure fraud and more. Using Twitter, I reached out directly to military members and their families with tips about how to avoid scams targeting our military.

It is a honor that nearly 100,000 active and reserve members of the Armed Forces and more than 1.5 million veterans live in Florida.

We will never be able to fully thank the brave men and women who step up to defend our country, but we can and should do our part to protect them from scams and ensure they have the resources needed to avoid becoming a victim of a deceptive and unfair trade practice.

Any consumer who believes they have been a victim of a scam or other fraudulent activity should file a complaint by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM or by visiting

In the News
Bondi: State, feds break $1 billion Miami health care fraud ring, Tampa Bay Times
Cocoa Police, Medicaid Fraud Unit Make Arrests In Scheme To Exploit Medical Information, Space Coast Daily News

State to help pay for funerals of shooting victims, WFTV Fox 4

Lyons: Scammer who was column's focus sentenced to 8 years, Sarasota Herald Tribune

Psychiatrist gets prison time for role in $63M health care fraud, South Florida Business Journal

Imposter Scam Targets Florida Bar Members, WJXX First Coast News

Protecting Floridians

Impostor Scam Targets Florida Bar Members
Attorney General Pam Bondi is issuing a warning to members of the Florida Bar targeted by an ongoing impostor scam. Bar members are receiving emails purported to be from the Florida Attorney General’s Office, erroneously informing the recipient that their business is being sued by the state. The email includes a link claiming to be to a complaint filed against the recipient’s company. However, it may actually deploy malware. More.

Miami-Dade Psychiatrist Sentenced in Various Fraud Schemes

Attorney General Pam Bondi, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and additional federal partners announced the sentencing of a Miami-Dade psychiatrist for participating in various schemes to defraud
Medicare, Medicaid, the U.S. Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Fernando Mendez Villamil, 48, of South Miami is sentenced to more than 12 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. More.

Three Charged in Massive Medicaid and Medicare Fraud Scheme

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit announced the arrests of three individuals for operating a $1 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme involving numerous Miami-based health care providers. Attorney General Bondi’s MFCU, as part of the HEAT Strike Force, assisted in identifying more than $100 million of Medicaid fraud in connection to this scheme. Odette Barcha, 49, Arnaldo Carmouze, 56, and Philip Esformes, 47, all of Miami-Dade County, are charged with conspiracy, obstruction, money laundering and health care fraud.

Attorney General Bondi Heads to Fort Myers to Offer Assistance to Victims of the Club Blu Shooting

Attorney General Pam Bondi headed to Fort Myers this week to meet with law enforcement and offer assistance to victims of the Club Blu shooting and their families.

“This senseless act of violence left two dead and 16 others, including children and teens, wounded. As the investigation into this night club shooting continues, I will be in Fort Myers today to meet with law enforcement and offer assistance to victims and their families suffering in the aftermath of this tragedy,” said Attorney General Bondi.

Florida Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Organized Fraud

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the guilty plea and sentencing of a Sarasota County man charged with organized fraud in connection to an investment scam. Russell Haraburda pleaded guilty to one count of organized fraud stemming from an investment scheme involving multiple investors and millions of dollars.