Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 321 • Dec. 30, 2016
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing

Working with the Office of Financial Regulation and our great law enforcement partners, this week, we announced the arrest of members of a Florida family and a pastor on multiple financial fraud charges. According to the investigation, the defendants operated an investment scheme that victimized more than 20 Floridians.

The alleged illegal activity led to the collection of approximately $1.3 million in racketeering proceeds. Victims were told their funds would be invested in real estate projects, primarily assisted living facilities, but the investigation revealed that many of the ALFs never opened or lost licensing as a result of mismanagement. A large portion of investor funds were allegedly used for the defendants' personal living expenses, including the purchase of a new family home.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of investigators with OFR, state and local law enforcement agencies, and my Office of Statewide Prosecution, these investment schemes, that in many cases targeted victims’ retirement savings, have been stopped and the targets of the investigation have been arrested.

In closing, as we prepare to welcome a new year please celebrate responsibly. New Year’s Day is one of the deadliest days of the year for alcohol-related fatalities. If you see someone trying to drive intoxicated, take their keys or call a cab, do not let them drive drunk. Working together we can have a happy, safe New Year.

In the News
Ocala man accused of selling woman, forcing her into prostitution across Florida, WFTV
Pam Bondi announces human-trafficking arrest in Ocala, Florida Politics

Woman charged with abusing disabled patient at Sunland Center in Marianna, WJHG

Former Health Care Worker Arrested for Allegedly Punching Disabled Patient, WTXL


Protecting Floridians
.Attorney General Bondi and Marion County Sheriff Gainey Announce Human Trafficking Arrest

Attorney General Pam Bondi and Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey announced the arrest of an Ocala man on charges related to human trafficking. Ryan Gemelle Poole faces one count of human trafficking, one count of deriving support from proceeds of prostitution and one count of using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.

“Human trafficking is an abhorrent crime and the allegations in this case are sickening—further proving that we must do everything in our power to eliminate human trafficking in Florida,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Working with our great law enforcement partners like Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the subject of this investigation was arrested and justice will be served.”
More.

Former Health Care Worker Arrested for Abuse of a Disabled Patient

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced the arrest of a former Jackson County Sunland Center employee for alleged physical abuse of a disabled patient. Following an investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ashley Nicole Griffin, age 21, on charges related to the alleged abuse.


The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigation was prompted by a complaint from the Florida Department of Children and Families about the alleged abuse of a patient at Sunland’s intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled. According to the investigation, staff member Griffin struck a disabled patient in the face and caused bleeding and bruising. More.

Defendant in Undercover Drug Operation Sentenced

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the sentencing of a Florida man arrested during a massive undercover drug operation targeting sellers of cocaine and oxycodone in South Florida. Joshua Roth entered a guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to traffic oxycodone and was sentenced to 15 years in the Florida Department of Corrections.

Roth was arrested in 2013 following an undercover investigation by the Key West Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the South Florida and North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Roth was prosecuted by Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution with the assistance of the State Attorney’s Office for the 16th Judicial Circuit of Florida. More.