Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 342 • May 26, 2017
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing




Photos provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

This week my Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission made nine arrests for the illegal harvesting of alligators and their eggs in Florida. Authorities have uncovered more than 10,000 illegally harvested alligator eggs. In just one day, some of the defendants collected more than 800 eggs. The investigation also revealed that, in addition to eggs, substantial numbers of illegally taken wild alligators were being removed from the wild and laundered through alligator farms.

This criminal operation dealing in American alligators and their eggs undermines legitimate farmers operating legally and these defendants face multiple felony charges in connection to this unlawful poaching. I want to thank the FWC for their superb investigative work and look forward to my Office of Statewide Prosecution prosecuting those involved in this reckless, illegal operation.

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, let us be reminded of what this important holiday is all about—honoring the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who gave their lives for our protection. These heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms will always be remembered. I am deeply and eternally grateful for their sacrifice and for all our service members who step into harm’s way to ensure we are safe each and every day. God bless America.

In the News
Target data breach leads to record settlement with Florida, 46 other states, Tampa Bay Business Journal
Florida reaps $1.6 million from settlement with Johnson & Johnson, Saint PetersBlog

Nine busted for poaching alligators and taking more than 10,000 eggs, Bradenton-Herald

Florida attorney general, FTC obtain court order for debt relief operation, South Florida Business Journal

Student loan scam based in Lake Worth, Delray, Boca shut down, Palm Beach Post


Protecting Floridians
Attorney General Bondi Files Action to Stop Debt Relief Scam

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office filed legal action to stop an alleged student loan relieve scam. According to the complaint, Strategic Student Solutions LLC and the owner Dave Green induced consumers to use the company’s phony student loan debt relief services by falsely claiming to be able to assist in substantially reducing or complete forgiveness of student loan debt. Strategic allegedly bilked these unsuspecting consumers out of thousands of dollars.
More.

More than $30 Million Settlement Reached with Johnson & Johnson

Attorney General Pam Bondi and 42 other attorneys general announced a multimillion dollar settlement with Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. resolving allegations that the company unlawfully promoted over-the-counter drugs. According to the complaint filed simultaneously with the states’ consent judgment today, the defendants misled consumers into believing they were purchasing drugs manufactured in an FDA compliant facility. As part of the settlement, Florida will receive more than $1.6 million.

“When a consumer purchases over-the-counter drugs, they should be able to trust that the medication is produced in a safe facility,” said Attorney General Bondi. “Thanks to collaborative multistate efforts, this settlement will help us better protect consumers buying OTC drugs across the country.”
More.


Settlements Reached with Former Executives in Generic Drug Multistate Investigation

Attorney General Pam Bondi and 40 other state attorneys general reached settlement agreements with two former executives of a New Jersey-based generic pharmaceutical manufacturer. The settlement follows an investigation into widespread anticompetitive activity in the generic drug industry leading to higher drug prices for consumers and state governments.
More.

Attorney General Bondi and FTC Halt Massive Debt Relief Scam

Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Federal Trade Commission have jointly obtained a court order halting a massive phony debt relief operation that bilked millions of dollars from financially strapped consumers, including the elderly and disabled. According to the complaint filed by Attorney General Bondi’s Office and the FTC, Jeremy Lee Marcus, Craig Davis Smith and Yisbet Segrea, through 11 companies, convinced consumers to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by falsely promising to pay, settle or obtain dismissals of consumers’ debts and improve consumers’ credit. After paying for the defendants’ services, consumers allegedly found debts unpaid, accounts in default and credit scores severely damaged. The scam even forced some victims into bankruptcy and some consumers were sued by their creditors.
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Settlement Reached with Target Regarding Data Breach

Attorney General Pam Bondi and 47 other attorneys general are announcing the largest multistate data breach settlement achieved to date. The $18.5 million settlement with Target Corporation resolves the states' investigation into the retail company's 2013 data breach that affected more than 41 million customer payment card accounts and contact information for more than 60 million customers. Florida served on the executive committee for the investigation.

“This data breach jeopardized the financial information of millions of Target customers in Florida and across the nation,” said Attorney General Bondi. “Under our multistate settlement announced today, Target consumers are now better protected from cyberattacks.”
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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 the meeting of the Florida Governor and Cabinet in Tallahassee.

Attorney General Bondi introducing Sanya, at the Florida Cabinet meeting. For more information about Sanya and other rescue animals in the Tallahassee area, visit TalGov.com/Animals.



Attorney General Bondi delivering the commencement speech for the inaugural graduating class of Focus Academy, a charter high school in Temple Terrace. Attorney General Bondi congratulates all the graduates and wishes the students the best of luck in their future endeavors.





Attorney General Bondi will be kicking off the 32nd National Conference on Preventing Crime in the Black Community in Orlando next week. The two-day event, from June 1 – 2, 2017, aims to promote positive solutions to overcome and eliminate crime-related issues affecting the black community. For more information about the event, visit PreventBlackCrime.com.