Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 300 • Aug. 5, 2016
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing


This week, I announced the arrests of eight members of a massive prescription drug trafficking ring in Florida. Four suspects remain at large. The defendants, including medical professionals, used stolen prescription pads to obtain thousands of doses of narcotic pain medications, among other controlled substances. Two medical assistants wrote more than a hundred fraudulent prescriptions on pads stolen from their employer, a physician in Boynton Beach. Co-conspirators used these false documents to obtain nearly 20,000 doses of controlled drugs, including alprazolam, hydromorphone, morphine, oxycodone and phentermine.

We have an epidemic in this country of people dying from prescription drug abuse and that is why I work continuously with our law enforcement partners to locate the drug dealers profiting from the illegal distribution of these dangerous drugs. When I took office in 2011, seven Floridians lost their lives from prescription drug overdoses a day. Since then, countless lives have been saved from prescription drug overdose in our state.

We will not tolerate anyone illegally trafficking highly addictive controlled substances in our state, endangering the lives of Floridians. My Office of Statewide Prosecution will aggressively prosecute these individuals. I will continue to work with our local, state and federal partners to combat prescription drug abuse, not only in Florida but across the country, because one life lost to drug abuse is too many.

In the News
Wake up: $125M settlement can open eyes on why drugs costs so much, Palm Beach Post

Eight people arrested as part of South Florida prescription drug ring, Palm Beach Post

Attorney General Reports Over 59 Florida Lawyers Receiving Scam Emails, WTXL

Tech Support Scammers Settle With FTC, Florida AG, Lexology

Florida Part Of Settlement With Major Life Insurers, (NSF) Health News Florida

Protecting Floridians
Multimillion Dollar Settlement Reached with Drug Manufacturer, Florida Consumers to Receive Millions

Attorney General Pam Bondi, 47 other state attorneys general and the District of Columbia announced a $125 million settlement with Cephalon and affiliated companies, including an estimated $2.4 million for Florida consumers. The settlement concludes a multistate investigation into anticompetitive conduct by Cephalon to protect the monopoly profits earned from Cephalon’s landmark wakefulness drug, Provigil. Cephalon’s conduct delayed generic versions of Provigil from entering the market for several years. As part of the settlement, $35 million will be distributed to consumers who bought Provigil.

“These anticompetitive efforts cost Floridians millions of dollars and kept the price of this prescription drug artificially high,” said Attorney General Bondi. “As a result of our joint efforts, millions of dollars will be will be paid to Florida and consumers.”
More.



Florida Signs Four More Life Claim Settlement Agreements

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Florida Department of Financial Services and Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office announced national life claim settlement agreements signed with four more life insurance companies totaling more than $3.4 million: Hartford Fire & Casualty Group for $2.1 million, Securian for $625,000, Great American for $400,000 and Standard for $277,000.

The settlement agreements focus on the one-sided use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to stop paying a deceased person’s annuity, but not using the same information to find and begin paying the deceased’s family or other beneficiaries for life insurance policies. The Lead States, Florida, California, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Pennsylvania conducted these multi-state examinations. More.




Events
On Tuesday, Attorney General Pam Bondi joined Governor Rick Scott and fellow Cabinet members, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, for a meeting of the Florida Cabinet in Tallahassee.

Attorney General Bondi joining Governor Scott, fellow Cabinet members and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman in awarding three organizations with the Champion of Service Award for the organizations’ supportive efforts in the aftermath of the terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. American Red Cross, Catholic Charities of Florida, Inc. and Hands On Orlando each received the Champion of Service Award.





Attorney General Bondi, joined by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen, Governor Scott and fellow Cabinet members, presenting resolutions recognizing FDLE’s annual awards. Travis Lawson is Special Agent of the Year, Linzee Willett is Forensic Scientist of the Year and Corporal James Horton is Capitol Police Officer of the Year. Troy Berry received the Excellence in Leadership Award and Heather Pence received the Commissioner’s Award.





Attorney General Bondi introducing Buttons, a hound puppy, at the Florida Cabinet meeting. Jim Strickland adopted Buttons on the spot at the Cabinet meeting and Buttons will be joining Strickland’s six other dogs at his ranch in Florida. For information on other rescue animals in the Tallahassee area, visit TalGov.com/Animals.





Attorney General Bondi, Governor Scott, CFO Atwater and Commissioner Putnam with the Iverson family at the Florida Cabinet meeting. Doug, Michelle, Evelyn and Will Iverson visited Tallahassee to explore their family history within the state Capitol.