Volume 5 Number 12
March 21, 2008

Across Florida many people are finding the American dream of owning a home is slipping through their hands. For many of these Floridians, the financial guidance and assistance needed to navigate the system will come too late. Through her work on the Financial Literacy Council, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is focused on helping Floridians make better financial decisions and find the resources necessary to help assist them with their financial matters.

On Monday, CFO Sink will address the council at their meeting in Tallahassee. During her speech she will highlight the need for increased financial literacy among young people, working adults, seniors and small businesses.

For more information on CFO Sink’s Financial Literacy Council or Monday’s meeting, please visit www.myfloridacfo.com


 

Division of Fraud badge

CFO SINK WORKS WITH FLORIDA SENATE ON LEGISLATION TO INCREASE PENALTIES ON ANNUITY FRAUD
Legislation targets agents using predatory annuity and life insurance practices against seniors

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink congratulated members of the Florida Senate’s Banking and Insurance Committee for unanimously passing legislation (PCS/SB 2082) that comprehensively addresses the issue of annuity fraud, including strengthening penalties against agents who target Floridians, especially seniors and the mentally-disabled, using predatory annuity and life insurance practices. CFO Sink has been working with Senate President Ken Pruitt (R- Port St. Lucie) and State Senator Michael “Mike” Bennett (R-Bradenton) to better combat annuity fraud, which is investigated and administratively prosecuted by CFO Sink’s Department of Financial Services (DFS).

“We need to deter and punish those who commit financially devastating crimes on Florida’s seniors,” said CFO Alex Sink. “I applaud Senate President Pruitt and Senator Bennett for their leadership and for working with me to reduce this widespread and growing problem.”  CONTINUED


Bob Graham, Florida's two-term Governor and three-term U.S. Senator, met with CFO Sink this week in Tallahassee to discuss ideas to benefit Florida. 


 

STATESMAN BOB GRAHAM VISITS WITH CFO SINK



 

CFO SINK TALKS TO LAND COUNCIL ABOUT FLORIDA'S FUTURE



With an acknowledgement of her family heritage in farming, CFO Sink spoke to the Land Council about the importance of Florida agriculture to well-being of the state.  


FLORIDA FOREVER DAY AT THE CAPITOL

In honor of Florida Forever Day at the State Capitol, CFO Sink discussed the impressive success of the land buying conservation program. The program was held in the Capitol courtyard.


AFL-CIO HEARS CFO SINK'S IDEAS ABOUT FLORIDA

On Monday CFO Sink met with members of the AFL-CIO during their annual visit to Tallahassee. At the meeting she urged union members to actively reach out to their local legislators on the issues they consider important this session.  She also said Florida's legislators have a number of innovative ideas and need AFL-CIO’s support to pass quality legislation.

 

 

CFO SINK WILL DELIVER ADDRESS TO FINANCIAL LITERACY STATE OF THE STATE ON MONDAY

The Financial Literacy Council will meet on the 22nd floor of the Florida Capitol to hear CFO Alex Sink present her policies, ideas and goals in a financial literacy state of the state address. The public is encouraged to attend, on Monday, March 24, from three to five p.m.


 

As Florida’s chief financial officer, part of the job is to help promote smart financial decisions for residents.  As such, a top priority is helping to educate consumers on important financial issues.

Financial literacy education is an essential service for the people of Florida. Together, we can lift Florida’s economy higher, ensuring all Floridians have the tools necessary to adequately provide a more secure future for their families.

The Financial Literacy Council, authorized in 2006 by HB 825, was created to study the financial problems that affect consumers, particularly young persons, seniors, working adults and small business owners, which arise from a lack of basic knowledge of financial issues. 
 



 

CFO Sink speaks to members of Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates during their Lobby Day luncheon in Tallahassee Tuesday.


Division of Fraud badge

STATEMENT BY CFO SINK ON THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS’ UNANIMOUS PASSAGE OF THE ANNUITY FRAUD BILL

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink applauded the Florida House Committee on Financial Institutions for unanimously passing House Bill 1003, sponsored by State Representative Clay Ford (R-Pensacola), which addresses annuity fraud and strengthens penalties against agents who target Floridians, especially seniors and the mentally disabled.

“Deceitful, manipulative agents are not welcome in our state,” said CFO Alex Sink. “I thank Rep. Clay Ford and his House colleagues for their support of this good legislation to provide harsher punishments for those who commit financial crimes upon Floridians.”

HB 1003 will now proceed to the House Jobs and Entrepreneurship Council, before heading to the House Floor. The Senate Companion, PCS/SB 2082, is sponsored by State Senator Michael “Mike” Bennett (R-Naples) and was passed by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee Tuesday.

Money-Smart
Idea of the Week

Every week, look here for a “Money-Smart” idea from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

Idea: Spend less than you earn 

If you earn a dollar and spend a dollar fifty, it is time to analyze how you are living. Big earners and small earners alike are inclined to the extravagance of overspending - between kids, housing, college costs, cars, vacations - people simply cannot keep up much less get ahead.

The idea of saving money is lost in the attempt to stay afloat. Modify your standard of living to fit your income. Make a dollar and spend fifty cents, then save the rest and you will be on the way to a more secure financial future.

For more financial savings tips click here http://www.myfloridamoney.com/FLSaves.htm




Division of Fraud badge

 

CFO SINK: SOUTH FLORIDA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PIP FRAUD; SENTENCED TO 4½ YEARS IN PRISON

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced the conviction of a Miami-Dade County man on Personal Injury Protection (PIP) fraud charges.

Wilfred Cyriaque, 57, pled guilty to involvement in a staged accident ring in South Florida last week and was sentenced to 54 months in prison, followed by five years of reporting probation. As a condition of his plea agreement, he was also ordered to pay restitution of $329,366 to the following insurance companies: Allstate, Direct General, State Farm, Bristol West, Illinois National/AIG and Budget Rent-A-Car.

“Insurance fraud costs us all more, and we will aggressively investigate anyone suspected of defrauding others,” CFO Sink said. “I commend our investigators for their work on this case and encourage their continued pursuit of criminals who take advantage of others by committing insurance fraud.” CONTINUED


Division of State Fire Marshal badge

STATEMENT BY CFO & STATE FIRE MARSHAL SINK ON THE HOUSE COMMITTEE’S UNANIMOUS PASSAGE OF FIRE SAFETY BILL

Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink applauded the Florida House Committee on Financial Institutions for unanimously passing House Bill 1041, “Fire Prevention and Control Bill.” CFO Sink’s legislation is sponsored by State Representative Luis Garcia, Jr. (D-Miami Beach), a retired Miami Beach fire chief, and enhances the State Fire Marshal’s authority in arson investigations and related crimes and improves requirements for firefighter training and certification.

“I thank Rep. Luis Garcia, Jr. and his House colleagues for their efforts to champion fire safety and support those who serve bravely,” said CFO Alex Sink. “This bill will strengthen all areas of fire safety, including arson investigation, resulting in better fire protection throughout our great state.”

HB 1041 will now proceed to the House and Jobs Entrepreneurship and Policy and Budget Councils before heading to the House Floor. The companion bill, SB 2388, is sponsored by State Senator Burt Saunders (R-Naples).

CONSUMER ALERT: FRAUDULENT EMAILS ARE BEING SENT TO CONSUMERS CLAIMING TO BE FROM FDIC

Fraudulent e-mails are being sent to consumers that claim to be from the FDIC in an attempt to obtain sensitive personal information, including bank account information. These e-mails falsely indicate that consumers can enroll in card insurance to protect against Internet fraud.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous notifications from consumers of an e-mail that gives the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The "From" line of the e-mail displays the name "Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation " and the subject includes the words "Consumer Protection."

Current versions of the fraudulent e-mail state:

"Who is FDIC?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system by insuring deposits in banks.
CONTINUED