Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 302 • Aug. 19, 2016
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing

This week my office took action to stop a group of individuals preying on vulnerable consumers worried about losing their homes to foreclosure. Operating an illegal foreclosure defense and loan modification law firm in South Florida, the defendants, none of whom are attorneys, deceived homeowners into paying hefty fees for legal services not supervised or approved by licensed attorneys. A complaint filed by my office seeks an injunction prohibiting the defendants from engaging in any future loan modification, foreclosure defense and legal services. We are also seeking full restitution for consumers harmed by the defendants’ actions.

My office received almost 40 complaints from consumers about the defendants’ deceptive and unfair practices. Complaints allege that the defendants made misleading representations regarding the law firms’ expert legal services, charged unlawful up-front fees prior to the services being completed, failed to protect the consumers’ homes from foreclosure and failed to obtain loan modifications as promised.

Florida homeowners facing the stress of foreclosure should not have to worry about scammers posing as lawyers and making false promises of relief to get what little money the homeowners may have. Thanks to the great work and dedication of my Consumer Protection Division, we will continue to fight foreclosure rescue fraud and protect homeowners.

I urge anyone who believes that they are the victim of a foreclosure rescue scam to call my office at 1(866) 9-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.

In the News
Florida attorney general fights alleged foreclosure fraud firm, Housing Wire

​Attorney General filed court action to stop foreclosure fraud, WPBF

Court Upholds Medicaid Fraud Convictions Of Four Florida Execs, (AP) CBS 4 Miami

Cops: Theft ring stole $178,000 in merchandise from Walmarts, some in Tampa Bay area, WFLA

Protecting Floridians
Multiagency Investigation Busts Multistate Organized Retail Theft Ring
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution is working with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Tarpon Springs Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to halt an organized retail theft ring targeting multiple Wal-Mart stores throughout Florida and other states. The multiagency investigation led to the discovery of an organized group of individuals committing grand thefts not only in Florida, but also in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecuting is prosecuting the case. Defendants face criminal charges including racketeering and conspiracy to engage in racketeering, both first-degree felonies, grand theft, a third-degree felony, and conspiracy to commit grand theft, a second-degree felony.  More.






Attorney General Bondi Offers Consumer Tips for Senior Citizens Day


Sunday is National Senior Citizens Day and Attorney General Pam Bondi is urging older Floridians to review her new consumer protection guide for seniors. The Savvy Consumers Can Stop Fraud: A Guide for Seniors contains information and tools designed to save money, especially on prescription medication, and offers tips for identity theft prevention and ways to recognize telemarketing fraud, imposter scams and sweepstakes scams.

Common scams directed at older Floridians include contractor and home repair scams and scams resulting in investment and financial fraud, identity theft, mortgage and foreclosure fraud. Imposter scams are on the rise, with scammers pretending to be the IRS or businesses such as the local utility or a well-known tech repair company. Scammers hide behind these false identities to get seniors to pay for charges or fees not owed or for services not needed. More.



Events
Attorney General Pam Bondi speaking to members of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce at the Ocala and Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership exCEPtional breakfast on Wednesday in Ocala. CEP works with local and state partners and community investors to build a strong base for economic development in Marion County.

Attorney General Bondi visiting with members of the Ocala and Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership.







Attorney General Bondi with President and CEO of Cone Distributing, Doug Cone.



























Marion County Interim Sheriff Emery Gainey giving opening remarks at the exCEPtional breakfast.