Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns amid state, federal probe of non-profit veterans group

TALLAHASSEE — Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll abruptly resigned amid law enforcement questions about a Florida Internet sweepstakes company at the center of a nationwide criminal investigation that has led authorities to arrest nearly 60 people in six states.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement interviewed Carroll Monday about her connections to the company, Allied Veterans of the World, a Florida-based non-profit that operates a chain of Internet cafes.

Carroll once owned a public relations firm that represented Allied Veterans, and she did work for the company at the same time she served in the Florida House. She resigned Tuesday. She has not been charged with any crime.

Attorney General Pam Bondi and law enforcement officials, speaking at a news conference in Orlando on Wedneday afternoon, said the multistate investigation — dubbed “Operation Reveal the Deal” — of the purported veterans’ charity led to arrest warrants for 57 people in Florida and five other states. Charges include racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering and possession of slot machines. Earlier this week, top leaders of Allied Veterans and the head of Jacksonville’s police union were arrested on charges of racketeering and money laundering.

“It is shameful that Allied Veterans of the World allegedly attempted to use the guise of a charitable organization to help veterans in order to lend credibility to this $300 million illegal gambling scheme,” said Bondi in a statement. “The Office of Statewide Prosecution will be filing formal charges related to illegal gambling, racketeering and money laundering, and they will prosecute the participants in the scheme to the fullest extent of the law.”

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