CFO Alex Sink photo

Volume 4 Number 14
April 6, 2007

Dear Floridian:

What a great week for Floridians as the Florida Cabinet considered two items that have significant implications for the future of Florida and all Floridians.

First, the Cabinet held the first in an ongoing series of “Conversations on Climate Change” to begin a dialog on how Florida can plan for and address the potential effects of weather changes.   We had a terrific turnout and the speakers created a solid basis for future conversations. 

Secondly, in what likely will be seen as an historic vote, the Florida Cabinet approved a rule that will allow many Floridians to reconnect with our democracy and work to provide for their families.  The Cabinet approved a rule allowing some non-violent felons who have served their sentences and paid full restitution to have their basic civil rights automatically restored.  This will serve all citizens by paving the way for these individuals and their families to move on to new, productive lives.   

This is a great place to start to build a better future for Florida.

 Sincerely,

Alex Sink



 

 

STATEMENT FROM CFO SINK ON RESTORATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS 

After the Florida Cabinet voted 3 to 1 to end the unfair Jim Crow-era laws that deny rights to hundreds of thousands of Floridians, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink issued the following statement: 

“After a busy
week thus far, I woke up early this morning to the sounds of springtime in Tallahassee, thinking about Holy Week, Passover and the message of hope and redemption.  Today we have the opportunity to restore rights to hundreds of thousands of Floridians. 

“Frankly, I believe this is the right thing to do.  This issue has been raised in almost every city and town I have visited over the past two years.  I listened and learned that Florida is one of only five states, all in the South, that does not automatically restore rights. 

“People who have made mistakes and paid their debt to society should be encouraged to live law-abiding and productive lives.  By restoring voting rights and permitting them to get back to work, they can become full citizens and provide for their families.  We’re not giving these people a gun and we’re not giving them a pardon – we’re giving them a chance to support their families and contribute to our democracy – we’re giving them a chance for a better future.  We should focus not on the possibility that they might re-offend but on the belief that they will live law-abiding lives.”


CFO SINK AND COMMISSIONER BRONSON LAUNCH “CONVERSATIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE” WEB SITE AND FIRST MEETING

Floridians can log on to www.floridaclimatechange.com for more information.

 
The first of four half-day “Conversations on Climate Change” initiated by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Charles Bronson was held in Tallahassee this week with serious discussions about the effects of climate change in Florida.

The official website for Florida Climate Change is now online. By logging onto www.floridaclimatechange.com, Floridians can learn about climate change, watch a video of Tuesday’s workshop, review the speakers' presentations and read about initiatives in other states.
 

“Climate change is a reality, and we need to learn as much as we can about the potential impact on our state’s financial health,” said CFO Sink. “As a government official concerned about Florida’s economy, I am focused on protecting the vitality of our financial and insurance markets.” 
 
“Conversations on Climate Change” is a series of four half-day Cabinet workshops that focus on climate change, how Florida’s economy is affected by changes in climate and the need to expand renewable energy sources.  CONTINUED
 

 


 

CFO SINK AND GENERAL MILLIGAN ON AUTO INSURERS’ USE OF INCOME, JOB INFO IN RATE SETTING

Responding to findings issued by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty that auto insurance companies are using income and occupation information to set rates, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and General Bob Milligan, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, issued the following statements: 

 
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink:
 
“Just because something might be legal doesn’t make it right.  I don’t see how someone’s job reflects on how they drive or what rates they should pay. Rates should be fair and based only on actual risk.”
 
General Bob Milligan, Insurance Consumer Advocate:
 
“I will support the efforts of the Office of Insurance Regulation as they move to fix this egregious situation through quick legislative action and appropriate rulemaking.”

 

 

 

THEY CAN RUN, BUT THEY CAN’T HIDE
DFS works with NYPD to collar suspects in $2 million mortgage fraud scheme

In a case that could have been taken from an NYPD Blues script, the last three suspects in a $2 million, six-member Florida mortgage fraud ring learned the hard way that hiding on a roof, in a closet or in a busy stock exchange office isn’t good enough when determined detectives are on your trail.   

Esmeralda Ildefonso, 25, Arturo Ildefonso, 27, and Melissa Miranda, 27, were arrested last week on warrants stemming from an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), and the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR).  The arrests resulted from close collaboration with the New York Police Department, who made the arrests. 

“I commend everyone who worked to bring these suspects to justice,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.  “We will go to any lengths to find those who prey on innocent Floridians—even if we have to go to New York to do it.” CONTINUED


INDIAN RIVER COUPLE ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF INSURANCE FRAUD AND GRAND THEFT

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced the arrests of an Indian River couple on charges of insurance fraud and grand theft for allegedly providing false mold laboratory test results to customers of their mold remediation company. 

Lisa Lynn Bock, 42, and her husband Patrick John Bock, 43, of Vero Beach, were arrested Wednesday following an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF).  They were booked into the Indian River County Jail with bond set at $10,000 and $25,000, respectively.  If convicted on the charges filed against them, Lisa Bock faces up to five years in prison and Patrick Bock up to 20 years in prison.  Both also face possible fines and restitution.   

“This couple took advantage of Floridians seeking to make their homes a safer and healthier place for themselves and their families to live,” said CFO Sink.  “I commend our investigators for bringing these individuals to answer for their actions.” CONTINUED


 

IRS URGES TAXPAYERS TO AVOID COMMON MISTAKES

The Internal Revenue Service urges taxpayers to review their tax returns for common errors that could delay the processing of their return and refund.

Here are some ways to avoid common tax return errors:

·        File electronically. If you choose to e-file, many of the common errors are avoided or corrected by the computer software. If your income is under $52,000, you may be able to e-file for free using IRS Free File. 

·        Use the peel-off label if you choose to mail a paper return. You may line through and make necessary corrections right on the label. Be sure to fill in your Social Security number in the box provided on the return. If you do not have a peel-off label, fill in all requested information clearly, including the Social Security numbers. CONTINUED