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

Dear Fellow Floridian:

As Florida’s CFO, I have the honor and privilege of overseeing the Bureau of Unclaimed Property, which helps return millions of dollars in unclaimed property to its rightful owners. During the 2012/2013 fiscal year, we returned more than $212 million in unclaimed cash and property to Floridians—exceeding last year’s record. Since I took office, we have continually returned record amounts to Floridians. The total amounts to more than $535 million since January 2011, including a record $24.7 million in June 2011 alone. But with more than $1 billion in unclaimed property, there is more work to do to return every dime to the hands of Floridians.Unclaimed property infographic treasure map Click on the graphic to enlarge.

In addition to money and securities, unclaimed property includes tangible items such as watches, jewelry, coins, currency, stamps, historical objects and other miscellaneous articles from abandoned safe deposit boxes. My team at the bureau works tirelessly to locate the owners or heirs of the boxes' contents. When the owners or heirs cannot be located, the items go to auction. This year, we will be holding a second auction August 23-24 at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hilton.

More than 80,000 individual items, including jewelry, watches and rare coins, with a minimum reserve value in excess of $650,000, will be sold. Although the property itself is not available to be claimed after the auction, the proceeds are available for the owners or heirs to claim at any time at no cost. To learn more about the auction or to search for any unclaimed property that belongs to you, please visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org.

Above all, my number one priority is to return every last dollar to its rightful owner and I am proud of the work we are doing to carry out this goal.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Operation S.A.F.E. Workshops to Protect Florida’s Seniors from Financial Fraud

CFO Atwater has announced a new series of Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) workshops to help protect seniors from financial fraud. The workshop series, called Be Scam Smart, is scheduled for the month of August Operation S.A.F.E.in Pensacola, Chipley, Orlando, Brandon, Viera, Jacksonville and Starke, with additional workshops scheduled for the month of October.

“Seniors have worked all of their lives to save and build a nest egg for their families, and I want to make sure their finances are protected from anyone who might target them,” CFO Atwater said. “These workshops will offer seniors access to resources and information that will help them safeguard their finances.”

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. 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.

To see a calendar of workshops, register for a workshop, or share a flyer with friends and family, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com/SAFE or call the CFO’s Consumer Helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).

News of Interest

Tampa Bay Business Journal: Exports keep Tampa Bay economy afloat

Orlando Business Journal: Economists remain upbeat about growth

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: AutoNation reports double-digit quarterly gains

Miami Herald: Venture capital funding soars in Florida

Associated Press: Brighter economic outlook boosts hiring

New York Times: In climbing income ladder, location matters

Tampa Bay Times: Tampa Bay area suddenly basking in big economic wins

Orlando Sentinel: Even as stock market soars, planners urge balanced investing

Wall Street Journal: Weekly jobless claims fall sharply

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 helped Florida Florida's Bottom Line: Innovative Florida to 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 Florida home.

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.