Dear Fellow Floridian:
Every day, I try to find new ways to help keep money in the pockets of my
fellow Floridians and ensure that whatever amount is entrusted to the function
of Florida’s government is handled responsibly and efficiently. One such way I’m
helping meet these goals is through my Bureau of Unclaimed Property.
My Bureau of Unclaimed Property works tirelessly to identify the rightful owners of abandoned safe deposit boxes, annuities, insurance policies, deposits, bank accounts and other valuables and reunite them with dollars they may need to make ends meet. When this fails, merchandise is appraised and sold at our
unclaimed property auctions, the proceeds of which are used to fund Florida’s schools. Should a property owner discover that he or she owned an item that was auctioned, the proceeds from the sale can be claimed any time at no cost.
Our next Unclaimed Property Auction begins one week from today with a showing of auction items. The actual auction will be the following day, Saturday, August 24, at the Fort Lauderdale Airport Hilton. This auction is open to the public and will feature more than 80,000 individual items, including jewelry, watches and rare coins, with a minimum reserve value in excess of $650,000. Notable items include a 5.82 karat diamond ring, an 8.6 karat diamond and gold watch, four American eagle gold bullion coins, a 59-piece sterling silver flatware set, and a $7 1776 continental currency note.
During the 2012–13 fiscal year, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property broke its all-time record in recovered property. A total of 327,313 claims were approved, reuniting $212 million in cash and property with Florida’s families. So if you can’t attend the auction, then at least visit
www.FLTreasureHunt.org to see if you have any unclaimed property in our vault. There is a 1-in-4 chance that you or someone you know has treasure waiting to be discovered!
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Be Wary When Buying or Selling Pension
or Settlement Income Streams
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear want to caution Floridians about buying or selling pension or settlement income streams. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued an
warning consumers about buying and selling pension or settlement income streams.
Persons receiving monthly pensions, including military and government retirees, as well as citizens who have received a large settlement such as a personal injury lawsuit may be targeted by salespeople offering an immediate lump sum in exchange for rights to some or all payments of a pension or settlement. In most cases, this payout will be drastically lower than the value of the future income stream.
"Floridians considering whether to buy or sell a pension or settlement income
stream must do their research and be wary of questionable promises that might
ultimately be detrimental to their financial future,” said CFO Atwater.
Floridians who suspect questionable practices should contact OFR to file a complaint. Consumers can
file a complaint online at
www.FLOFR.com or call OFR at (850) 487-9687.
Individuals providing investment advice or those who sell securities in
Florida are required to be registered with OFR. Before selling your rights or investing in someone else’s pension income, visit
www.FLOFR.com, click on “Verify a License,” then select BrokerCheck or IAPD to obtain a detailed report of the offeror’s registration information and any disclosure events. In addition, check with your local Better Business Bureau to ensure the company has not received any complaints.
'Be Scam Smart' Workshop for Seniors
CFO Atwater is partnering with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office to
offer a Be Scam Smart Workshop for seniors as part of his Operation
S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) initiative. This workshop
is the third of seven
Be Scam Smart workshops held in Florida in August.
You may register now for the workshop in the Brevard County area on Tuesday, August 20, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at One Senior Place, 8085 Spyglass Hill Road, Viera, FL 32940.
Operation S.A.F.E. helps protect seniors by educating them about scams such
as fake lotteries and repair scams, and how these scams work. The initiative was
launched in May with workshops in Cape Coral, Venice, Delray Beach, Clearwater,
the Villages and Miami. Operation S.A.F.E. is part of CFO Atwater’s On Guard for
Seniors initiative, which educates seniors on specific financial topics such as
annuities, identity theft, reverse mortgages and long-term care insurance. The
Orange County Sheriff’s Office participated in the August 14 workshop by
discussing local scams affecting seniors such as the grandparent scam,
telemarketing scams and contractor fraud.
To see a calendar of workshops, register for a workshop, or share a flyer
with friends and family, visit
or call the CFO’s Consumer Helpline at 877-MY-FL-CFO (877-693-5236).
Innovation Drives Florida's Economy
Florida has worked hard to create an environment for long-term growth and
investment that allows businesses to better serve their communities and
employ more of their neighbors. This culture of economic innovation has
be recognized as the “Most Innovative State in the Nation” by
Fast Company magazine this year.
Beginning with this edition on biotechnology, Florida’s Bottom Line
is presenting a three-part series on
Innovative Florida, highlighting the people and
industries that are driving our future as a diversified economy. We are now
recognized as one of the most attractive areas worldwide for the
biotechnology industry, with more than 200 biotechnology companies calling
The quarterly edition of Florida's Bottom Line is
complemented by its often-updated website,
www.MyFloridaCFO.com/FloridasBottomLine. When new
economic data is released, it can be found here. Florida's consumer
confidence, retail index, employment statistics and various other
resources will keep you up-to-date.