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My Florida C F O
Weekly eNewsletter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer

Dear Fellow Floridians:

Read the text of the Unclaimed Property Auction video.

 

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Remembering September 11, 2001

On Sunday, we remember those who tragically lost their lives in the horrific terrorist attack that happened 10 years ago and commemorate those who selflessly faced danger to save others. We are reminded that in the face of tragedy, terrorism and loss, America will rise from the ashes, come together as patriots and fight for liberty and freedom.

Visit www.facebook.com/CFOJeffAtwater or www.twitter.com/JeffAtwater on September 11 for my video message. We will never forget.

News of Interest

Associated Press: Former lawmaker to head Citizens governing board

St. Augustine Record: Florida asks, 'Do you have lost treasure?'

Central Florida News 13: Florida's unclaimed treasures going up for auction

Sun-Sentinel: Hurricane Andrew would cost Citizens Insurance $14.7 billion today

Sun-Sentinel: Surprise: 10 risks your home insurance may not cover

Lakeland Ledger: For the Recently Widowed, Some Big Financial Pitfalls to Avoid

Palm Beach Post: Florida receives nearly $500,000 in federal grants to help fight mortgage modification scams

Strike Force to Meet in Miami

WHO: Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force
WHAT: Meeting of the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m.
WHERE: Office of the State Attorney, 1350 N.W. 12th Ave., Miami FL 33136-2111

Next week, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Chair, and Attorney Division of Insurance FraudGeneral Pam Bondi, Vice Chair, will hold a meeting of the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force in Miami. The 11-member Strike Force will be briefed on federal, state and local initiatives to combat fraud, receive committee reports and review a draft of the Strike Force’s report to the Legislature that is due Oct. 1, 2011.

The Strike Force was created during the 2010 Legislative Session to increase the effectiveness of programs and initiatives that work to prevent, detect and prosecute Medicaid and public assistance fraud. CFO Atwater serves as Chair and Attorney General Bondi serves as Vice Chair of the Strike Force.

The agenda for the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force meeting is attached. For more information about the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force or to report fraud, please visit www.myfloridacfo.com/StrikeForce.

When Your Hurricane Deductible Applies

Hurricane Season: Are you prepared? The first major hurricane of the season left extensive flood and wind damage along its path. In some states, several residents and business owners affected by the destructive force of Hurricane Irene received a waiver from paying their hurricane deductible. While Irene may have reached hurricane status, by the time it impacted some states it was a tropical storm. The insurance carriers in some states voluntarily waived the deductible, but this can vary depending on the laws of each state.

In Florida, your hurricane deductible may only be applied to damages occurring from a named hurricane. (This can include tornado and wind damages anywhere in the state of Florida.) The hurricane deductible applies from the time a hurricane watch or warning is issued in any part of Florida and until 72 hours following the termination of the last hurricane watch or warning.

For more information on disaster preparation, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com. For more information on deductibles and other insurance terms, visit the department’s online Insurance Library.

Arrest and Filing of Criminal Charges

State Attorney Michael McAuliffe and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announce the arrest and filing of criminal charges against Juliet Sherry-Ann Smith Mahabir for the following criminal offense:

1 Count  - Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information (deceased victim) 817.568(8)(c) (1 F) – Maximum Possible Sentence: 30 Years in Prison

State Attorney Michael McAuliffe stated: “Stealing the identity of a dead child represents an insult to those family members and friends who have cherished memories of not just a name, but the personality, character and soul that go with the name. In our society, we hold dear our identities because they reflect who we are. Working with our partners like the CFO, we will pursue criminal charges to hold accountable those who commit this egregious type of theft.”

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater stated: “It never ceases to amaze me the lengths some people will go to steal the hard-earned money from the pockets of honest Floridians. For someone to take advantage of the death of a child and rack up thousands of dollars of debt in their name is reprehensible. My department will continue to work closely with federal and state investigators to bring such criminals to justice and protect your financial identity.”

The probable cause affidavit alleges that the defendant assumed the Division of Insurance Fraudidentity, including name and social security number, of a person who died at the age of 8 on May 7, 1981, in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The defendant has been living under this identity and used it to build an entire financial history, including gainful employment as a teller at a Palm Beach County bank. Additionally, the defendant used this identity to purchase a home, obtain lines of credit and even file for bankruptcy.

The case is assigned to Assistant State Attorney Ryan Kelley of the White Collar Crime Section. The lead investigator is Detective William Hill of the Florida Department of Financial Services with assistance from the United States Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, in Miami, Florida.