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 the importance of fire prevention education. To help
promote the importance of such education,
presented a resolution at this week’s Cabinet meeting designating October 7
to 13 as Fire Prevention Week in Florida.
The theme of the nation’s corresponding Fire Prevention Week is “Prevent
Kitchen Fires!” Cooking is one of the leading causes of home
in Florida, making our homes the place where we are at the greatest risk of
fire. In 2012, fire departments across our state responded to more than 4,000
fires with two out of every five home fires beginning in the kitchen.
My message this week is simple—use caution and remain alert while cooking to
reduce the risk of fire. Accidents happen, but it starts with personal
responsibility and we are all responsible for working to keep those we love safe
The importance of our fire prevention message is magnified by today’s
memorial event at the State Fire College in Ocala, where eight more names will
be added to the Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial Wall. By doing our part to
prevent fires, we can help reduce the risks to our dedicated firefighters who
risk their lives every day to protect us.
To learn more about the State Fire Marshal’s Office and what you can do to
protect your family against fire, I encourage you to visit
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Insurance Fraud Arrest Made in Fake Carjacking
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on Thursday announced the
arrest of Orlando Robles-Santana, 40, for allegedly claiming he was
carjacked and then filing a fraudulent insurance claim for reimbursement of
the car’s value.
“Auto insurance fraud drives up rates for all Floridians,” said CFO Atwater,
“We will not stand by and let individuals like this steal the hard-earned money
of honest Floridians.”
An investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of
Insurance Fraud was initiated using information compiled by the Jacksonville
Sheriff’s Office. The investigation revealed that Robles-Santana reported his
2004 Jaguar sedan stolen after a supposed carjacking by two men in a pickup
truck. He then filed a theft report and insurance claim for reimbursement of
full value of the vehicle.
Nearly a year later, sheriff’s deputies found the vehicle during a routine
inspection of a local salvage yard. The owner of the business explained that he
knew Robles-Santana personally and he had asked him to watch after the vehicle
while he was out of the country.
Robles-Santana was booked into the Duval County Jail awaiting bond. If
convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison.
Anyone with information involving suspected insurance fraud is asked to call
1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department
of Financial Services to date has awarded almost $342,000 to more than 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.
Florida Economic Briefs
Florida ranks fifth out of 50 states in the Tax Foundation’s 2014 edition of the
State Business Tax Climate Index. Business leaders, government policymakers, and
taxpayers use the index to gauge how the states’ tax systems compare. Business
taxes affect business decisions, job creation and retention, plant location,
competitiveness, the transparency of the tax system, and the long-term health of
a state’s economy.
Foreclosure activity slowed in September – down six points from August.
The number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Florida
was 22 percent lower than the same time last year.
Florida's Bottom Line website complements the
quarterly edition of the Florida's Bottom Line newsletter. 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 financially.