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

Dear Fellow Floridian:

In my capacity as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer I have the honor of serving as Florida’s State Fire Marshal. During my time in this role, I have come to see first-hand that the choice of a life in the fire service can sometimes be a thankless role. Fire service personnel and their families often make tremendous sacrifices to serve and protect their communities. Their investment in their communities makes our state a safer place to live. In turn, we must make an investment in them.

On Tuesday at the Cabinet meeting, I co-sponsored a resolution to create a firefighter memorial on the grounds of the Florida State Capitol. The memorial will serve as a daily reminder of our support for our firefighter and emergency personnel while demonstrating the true spirit and legacy of the firefighter for generations to come. It will provide all Floridians and visitors to this great state a place to pause and pay tribute to our fire heroes. I am also proud of the partnership with the Florida Fire Chiefs Association that has agreed to receive donations from citizens and businesses for the construction of this memorial so that no state funds will be expended.CFO speaks at ceremonial signing of State Fire Marshal Bill

After the Cabinet meeting, we held a bill signing ceremony for Senate Bill 1410 which provides the fire fighting community relief from antiquated structural impediments and increases the efficiency of their operations. The support throughout the fire community has been overwhelming. With this bill’s signing we will be able to enhance and strengthen protective measures for Florida’s fire personnel.

This memorial and the bill are testaments to my commitment and dedication to protecting Florida’s fire heroes. I’d like to thank all those who supported the first steps taken to create this memorial and those who supported this bill and I look forward to seeing both implemented for our fire community.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Anti-Fraud Reward Program Awards Four

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has announced $35,000 DFS Division of Insurance Fraud Badgein rewards for four Floridians who provided key information that led to arrests and convictions in several major insurance fraud cases. These citizens helped uncover almost $3.7 million in fraudulent financial activity leading to 17 convictions.

“I applaud these citizens for their courage and honor in reporting suspected insurance fraud and protecting fellow Floridians from this costly crime,” CFO Atwater said. “Without the assistance of these concerned citizens, these fraudsters would still be on the streets today.”

Rewards issued include:

  • $20,000 to a Ft. Myers individual whose assistance led to the conviction of 12 individuals in a personal injury protection (PIP) fraud ring and the closure of 12 unlicensed accident clinics with $3 million in potential insurance fraud losses.
  • $10,000 to a St. Petersburg individual whose assistance led to the conviction of an annuity scammer who defrauded nine elderly victims out of more than $580,000.
  • $5,000 divided between two Tampa individuals whose assistance led to the conviction of four PIP fraudsters and the closing of a PIP accident clinic.

These cases were investigated by the Division of Insurance Fraud, the law enforcement arm of the Department of Financial Services responsible for investigating all insurance fraud in Florida. Anyone with information about these or any other incidents of suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous.

The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded more than $340,000 to approximately 50 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.

News of Interest

Florida Current: Consumer confidence goes up for 4th consecutive month

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando wins No. 2 spot in "smartest cities" ranking

Sun Sentinel: Students flock to entrepreneurship summer camps

Tampa Bay Times: Tampa Bay employers try to cut costs with on-site health centers

Florida Today: Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction is green for launch

Sun-Sentinel: South Florida aiming to become a 'tech hub'

Florida's Bottom Line

Florida's Bottom LineTechnology has revolutionized government accountability by enabling the public to have unprecedented and easy access to government data. This quarterly edition of Florida’s Bottom Line features information about ongoing efforts to continue making government in Florida more open and ethical.

The companion website has graphs and charts on Florida's economy and jobs, economic news and resources, updated as new information is released. Florida’s consumer confidence, a popular barometer of the state’s economy, is gauged through a survey of roughly five-hundred Floridians each month. Consumer confidence is determined by asking five standard questions about each respondent’s financial situation and outlook for the economy.

A monthly survey of employers is taken by the government to determine total nonagricultural payroll employment, which essentially measures how many jobs exist. This survey, known as the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, polls around 141,000 employers nationally.

Florida’s Bottom Line website will keep you aware of the changing state of Florida's economy.