Sunday, May 28, 2006

Fwd: Attorney General's News Briefs

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: AGNews <>
Date: May 26, 2006 9:08 AM
Subject: Attorney General's News Briefs
To: AGNews <>

This week's edition of the Attorney General's newsletter News Briefs is
now available for subscribers.

Please click the web address below to view the current issue.
May 26, 2006 -  Volume 4, Issue 21:

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The text version of the e-Newsletter is below.

Message from Attorney General Charlie Crist

If Floridians ever took hurricane season lightly in the past, they
certainly know better now.

Even after the record-setting 2004, season, there was a sense that
some residents may have felt it was just a one-time thing - a fluke
that couldn't happen again. Last year's equally devastating hurricane
season put an end to that myth, hopefully forever.

The 2006 hurricane season officially begins on Thursday, and countless
Floridians have wisely been preparing for weeks. Their efforts are
made somewhat easier thanks to the Legislature and Governor Jeb Bush,
who together waived the sales tax on certain hurricane-related

This important sales tax break, which lasts until the June 1 kickoff
of hurricane season, makes it easier for Floridians to stock up on
essential supplies including generators, portable radios, batteries,
fuel tanks and other emergency provisions. It's much easier - and much
smarter - to stockpile these crucial items now than it will be after a
storm hits.

I encourage you to go to the American Red Cross website, which
features a list of emergency supplies that will be tax-exempt over the
next several days, along with other useful information such as the
locations of hurricane shelters throughout Florida, links to weather
information and tips on coping with other types of disasters. You can
reach the Red Cross website at or
you can access it through our website at

Unfortunately, there is no reason to assume Florida will be spared
nature's wrath this year. Earlier this week the federal government
predicted a "very active" hurricane season, with 13 to 16 named
storms, 8 to 10 of which will becoming hurricanes. The experts warn
that as many as six of these storms will be classified as major
hurricanes, packing the punch of Category 3 or higher.

The hurricanes of the past two years - both those that hit Florida and
those that didn't - gave us a valuable insight into the kind of damage
that can be inflicted. I recently took an aerial tour of the dike
system surrounding Lake Okeechobee and saw first-hand how a storm
like Hurricane Katrina could breach the dike and devastate vast areas
of South Florida.

No area of our state is truly safe from the ravages of a powerful
hurricane. And that means no one can afford to take a casual approach
to the upcoming hurricane season.

                                   *     *     *

This weekend we mark Memorial Day, a time to commemorate those brave
men and women who gave their lives in military service so that the
rest of us may enjoy the freedoms of our great nation.

I will be proudly participating in a remembrance ceremony in
Jacksonville, where a group of local soldiers, sailors, Marines and
airmen will be honored at the city's Veterans Memorial Wall. I
encourage each of you to celebrate Memorial Day in your own way,
always keeping in mind the true meaning of this holiday.

We owe everything to the heroic deeds of the men and women in uniform.
As you enjoy the three-day holiday weekend, be sure to take a moment
to remember them.

Charlie Crist


HURRICANE PRICE GOUGING - The Attorney General's Office reached a
settlement with a North Carolina-based company resolving allegations
that the company overcharged for water and mold cleanup services
following Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The company, Southeastern
Restoration, Inc., (also known as Afterdisaster), will pay more than
$19,500 in restitution and will issue a billing credit of more than
$550,000 to victims of the price gouging. The case began when Attorney
General Crist's price gouging hotline received a complaint in early
2005 that the company was charging an exorbitant fee to condominium
associations for water extraction and mold remediation services. An
investigation revealed that one condominium was overbilled by at least
40 percent and another was charged more than five times the actual
cost of the work.

POLICE IMPERSONATOR CONVICTED - Attorney General Crist and Miami-Dade
County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced the
conviction of a Miami-Dade County man for his involvement in an armed
home invasion and robbery in Miami Lakes. A jury found the 34-year-old
man guilty for impersonating a police officer in order to break into a
home and commit armed robbery while threatening the residents with a
gun. The defendant is already serving  two life sentences for similar
crimes committed in Broward County and is awaiting trial on similar
charges in Palm Beach County.


Crist Reaches $609,000 Settlement from Hurricane Price Gouging

Police Impersonator Convicted for Home Invasion

Crist Encourages Floridians to Make Storm Preparations


Phone probe widens

Florida Seeks Nationwide Telephone Billing Probe

Fallen officers remembered

Seniors warned to be on guard against scammers

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