This week, we commemorated an infamous day in our
history. Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, marked 70 years since our nation
was drawn into a world war that created our greatest generation.
This generation saw Uncle Sam’s outstretched finger pointing at them
stepped up, making the tremendous sacrifices necessary to win the
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt said in his speech
to a frightened nation, "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this
premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win
through to absolute victory." Although we don’t see this quote referenced very
often, I believe it defines the American spirit and the determination and grit
that are synonymous with that era.
When war was declared on Dec. 8, 1941, more than 250,000
Floridians signed up to serve in the U.S. military. We remember
those who selflessly gave their lives and those who courageously
defended our nation on that December day. The attack on Pearl
Harbor, reminds us that the American resolve overcomes all in the
face of tragedy and despair.
Pictured: Wreaths Across America -
Ceremony of remembrance for fallen
comrades and first responders.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Learn to Write a Winning Business Plan
In honor of national Write a Business Plan Month, I encourage
small business owners to take part in our four free webinars,
entitled “How to Write a Winning Business Plan,” that will be
offered Dec. 12-15. Eighty
percent of businesses do not have a
business plan in place, and the Department of Financial Services
is teaming up with Access Florida Financial and the Small
Business Development Center to turn those statistics around.
Whether you already have a business plan, and especially if you don’t, small
business owners or anyone who wants to become one should sign up for one of
these free webinars. Each webinar will cover the elements of a winning business
plan and tips for making yours stand out.
For registration and other logistical information, visit
Protecting Florida’s Consumers and Returning their Unclaimed Property
On Wednesday, a bill championed by CFO Atwater that will close a loophole that allows certain groups to obtain social security information from the Bureau of Unclaimed Property passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.
Recent news reports have highlighted increasing trends in identity theft in Florida, and the state has a duty to protect Floridian’s social security numbers from any possible misuse.
CFO Atwater’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property has returned more than $197.11
million to Florida citizens and businesses since Jan. 1, 2011 - the most ever returned in one calendar year.
Law Enforcement Veteran to Lead the Division of Insurance
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on Monday announced the
appointment of law enforcement veteran and crime fighter Daniel
S. Anderson as the new Director of the Division of Insurance
Fraud (DIF). Anderson, a 25-year veteran of the Drug Enforcement
Administration with extensive experience in global criminal
investigations and law enforcement coalition building, will be
on the job next month.
“We are pleased to have a professional of Dan’s caliber join our team, and I
know he will be a tremendous asset in our continuing fight to crackdown on
fraudsters in Florida,” said CFO Atwater. “With auto insurance and workers’
compensation fraud schemes increasing the cost of living for our fellow
Floridians, there is no more capable person to confront these challenges
head-on, dismantle these schemes and put the criminals behind bars.”
Anderson began his law enforcement career in 1982 as a police officer in
Broward County. He joined the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1986 as a
Special Agent, where he served until his appointment as Director of DIF. During
Anderson’s 25 years with the DEA, he has served in many high-level positions,
including Instructor at the DEA Academy educating thousands of law enforcement
personnel; Group Supervisor at DEA’s Norfolk, Va., Office; Unit Chief of
Operations Management at DEA Headquarters; and, most recently, as the Associate
Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New York Field Division overseeing more
than 800 employees.
Anderson will lead the Division of Insurance Fraud, which made nearly 1,000
insurance fraud-related arrests last fiscal year. He will be responsible for
supervising 155 sworn law enforcement officers, managers and administrators, and
48 non-sworn civilian support staff members.
Anyone with information regarding suspected insurance fraud is asked to call
1-800-378-0445. Individuals who provide tips can remain anonymous and are
eligible for a reward of up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an
arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme. The Department of Financial
Services to date has awarded almost $250,000 to approximately 40 citizens as
part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program.
Fresh from Florida Christmas Tree
On Tuesday, my friend Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam
brought our office good cheer, fresh from Florida. This year,
our tree was graciously donated by Franco and Sigrid Camacho of
the Bavarian Christmas Tree Farm in Tallahassee.
Franco and Sigrid moved from South Florida to Tallahassee
with the dream to open a Christmas tree farm business. After 12
years, their business has grown and so have their trees! The
Camacho’s farm sells Carolina Sapphire, Leyland Cypress, Red
Cedar and Bavarian Cypress trees.
This year, I encourage all of you to support your local
businesses and our state, and purchase a fresh from Florida