TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- In the wake of the law enforcement crackdown on internet cafes operated by Allied Veterans of the World, Inc. and resignation of Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, Florida lawmakers are examining campaign contributions that were funneled to both parties by Allied Veterans and other internet cafe organizations.
“During the 2012 election cycle, when I headed Senate Campaigns, I declined to meet with Allied Veterans and refused campaign contributions from the organization," said Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) said in a statement yesterday. "I have a practice of not accepting contributions to my own campaigns from gaming entities, and I did not knowingly accept campaign contributions from any Internet cafes for my own campaign or on behalf of the Republican Senate Majority."
"However, in light of recent allegations that the Allied Veterans organization was operating with upwards of 40 subsidiary entities and under different and perhaps misleading names, I have asked for a top to bottom review of my own campaign contributions as well as funds raised by the Republican Senate Majority for the Republican Party of Florida during the 2012 cycle for which I had leadership responsibility,” said Gaetz.
The scope of the investigation by federal, state, and local enforcement agencies into Allied Veterans is not limited to the 2012 election cycle, however. It extends to activities by the organization and its affiliates as far back as 2007 which generated over $290 million over a 5-year period, according to court documents.