Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 30 • August 12, 2011

Today we have prevailed in preventing Congress from infringing on the individual liberty protected by the U.S. Constitution. The ruling by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholds our position that the federal health care law exceeds Congress' power.

The lawsuit filed by Florida and our 25 partner states is ultimately about protecting individual liberty and preserving the constitutional principle of limited government. We have argued from the beginning that the federal health care is a clear overstep of their authority and the court agreed.

"This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority," the court said in the majority opinion.

The court's decision is a victory for liberty and a vindication of our argument that the forced purchase of insurance, if upheld, would 'obliterate' the Constitution's limits on federal power.

In the News
FOX News - U.S. Appeals Court Rules Against Obama's Health Care Law
Wall Street Journal - States Go After Big Bank on Forex
Miami Herald - AG Bondi sues Bank of New York Mellon for overcharging state retirement fund

Protecting Floridians

Office of Statewide Prosecution Successfully Prosecutes Leader of Violent West Palm Beach Gang for Racketeering and Other Charges

Today, Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that Futo Charles, the leader of the West Palm Beach street gang “Top 6,” was found guilty of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and all other charges filed. Charles has been sentenced to 65 years in state prison. The “Top 6” indictment was one of the first indictments issued by the Statewide Grand Jury on Gangs in December 2007. Two “Top 6” members have already been convicted of racketeering and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

“The “Top 6” street gang has terrorized West Palm Beach for years, and we have successfully prosecuted this criminal and kept a dangerous gang member off our streets,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I am grateful to state, federal and local law enforcement for their hard work investigating and detaining this violent gang.” Read the full release here.

Attorney General Pam Bondi Files Complaint Against Bank of New York Mellon

This week, Attorney General Bondi filed a complaint on behalf of the State of Florida alleging that Bank of New York Mellon overcharged the state retirement fund by millions of dollars for foreign currency exchanges in violation of the Florida False Claims Act. BNY Mellon serves in a fiduciary role as master custodian of the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund and is involved in a majority of transactions regarding the fund. Read the full release here.

Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Investigation Results in Two Arrests for Abuse

Two former employees of United Cerebral Palsy Day Program, located in Palm Beach County, are in custody after allegedly abusing two persons with disabilities at a public event. Colby Shorter, 33, and Tashyona Thomas, 37, were arrested Thursday, Aug. 11, on felony warrants by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance from the Palm Springs Police Department in Palm Beach County. Employees at the United Cerebral Palsy Day Program reported the alleged abuse to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Shorter and Thomas were charged with one count each of abuse of an elderly or disabled adult, a third degree felony. If convicted, the individuals face up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Shorter and Thomas are currently being held in the Palm Beach County Jail. The case is being prosecuted by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office.


Attorney General Bondi Lauds Prosecutors

This week, Attorney General Bondi spoke at the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association. Attorney General Bondi expressed her appreciation and dedication to the prosecutors who share her common goal of making Florida the safest state it can be and holding people accountable for their actions.