Volume 8 Number 31 August 5, 2011

Dear Fellow Floridians:

At the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, I announced the creation of a working group to review the practices of certain bad actors in the check cashing services industry who are aiding in workers’ compensation premium fraud. This kind of fraud puts pressure on rates and is crippling those in the business community who play by the rules. These highly organized schemes are diverting more than a billion dollars from Florida’s economy.

This latest workers’ compensation premium scheme is orchestrated by individuals who know the construction and subcontracting industry and are intent on evading payment of workers’ compensation premiums. Florida law generally requires every employee in the construction industry to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. The effect of this scheme is that workers are left unprotected and honest employers suffer from an uneven playing field because they are consistently outbid on construction projects by those who skirt premium requirements.

We are committed to dismantling this scheme and putting these cheats behind bars. I am looking forward to working with my Division of Insurance Fraud as well as the Office of Financial Regulation, the Attorney General’s Office, and the construction and money services industries to develop solutions for combating this growing crime trend. Bringing together stakeholders will take us one step closer to the solutions we need to expedite jail time for these con artists.

Sincerely,

Jeff





Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida


Worker's Compensation Premium Fraud: How It Works Workers' Comp Scheme


Honoring Firefighter Chad W. Hood

This week, we mourn the loss of 36-year-old firefighter Chad W. Hood, who tragically lost his life in a motorcycle accident on Monday. Chad joined the City of High Springs Fire Department in 2007 as a firefighter/emergency medical technician. He was a contributing member of the department who put his family first. Chad was passionate about serving the public and had been working on furthering his skills by completing additional wildland firefighting training and emergency medical training. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chad’s family and the entire firefighter community.


Tom Grady Appointed as Florida Commissioner of Financial Regulation

Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday appointed Tom Grady of Naples as Commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation.

Left to right: AG Bondi, Tom Grady, Gov. Scott, Mrs. Grady, CFO Atwater, Comm. Putnam

Tom Grady appointed as OFR commissionerSince 1982, Grady has practiced law with Grady and Associates, focusing on the areas of securities, investment advisor and financial industry regulation, litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has been active in securities organizations aimed at educating and safeguarding the public and raising the standards of professionalism within the brokerage industries. Since 1992, Grady has served as a broker/dealer training instructor for the American Arbitration Association, the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, the National Association Securities Dealers, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation Arbitrator Training programs.

“Tom is an excellent choice to lead the Office of Financial Regulation. He has a wealth of experience in financial services, especially in the fields of securities and mortgage banking,” said Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. “I am looking forward to working with Tom to help capital flow freely in our state and combat the financial fraud that suffocates economic growth.”

Serving as a public member of the Securities Industry Conference on Arbitration organized by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 1995 to 2002, Grady has been a public member emeritus since 2003. He is also a public member emeritus the American Arbitration Association’s Securities Industry Advisory Committee. He is a former member of the advisory committee to the NASAA Disclosure Reform Committee.

Grady served in the Florida House of Representatives representing a portion of Collier County. As a state representative, he successfully sponsored legislation in the areas of securities regulation and international banking and finance. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his law degree from Duke University.


MyFloridaCFO.com new design

A New Look for MyFloridaCFO.com

On Monday, MyFloridaCFO.com will have a new look!

In an effort to continue providing excellent service through our Web site, the Department of Financial Services has launched the new look for MyFloridaCFO.com as a first step in the process to improve navigation and accessibility.

Please find a sneak peak of the new Web site design here - click for a larger view.

Let us know what you like and what we can do to better serve you online by emailing us. Your feedback is valuable, and we look forward to reading your comments.

Be on the lookout for a new eViews design next Friday.