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

Dear Fellow Floridian:

I recently sponsored a resolution recognizing this week as "Florida Thrift Week." The purpose of Florida Thrift Week Thrift Week January 2014is to serve as a reminder that a vigorous and healthy economy is fueled by consumers who make smart financial decisions.

Thrift Week itself began as an effort in 1916 to educate Americans about a wartime economy as a result of World War I and to prepare them for long-term financial success. But the principles of strategic budgeting are as beneficial today as they were decades ago. Being thrifty is a smart strategy to help reach your long-term economic goals, and I encourage everyone to get back to those principles which will ultimately provide you more economic freedom.

Whether it's a comfortable retirement, a down payment for a house or a new car you are dreaming about, learning how to make a budget and understanding the savings vehicles you have available will allow you to prioritize savings and achieve your financial goals. For more information about saving, spending, credit and debt, visit our "Your Money Matters" website at www.myfloridacfo.com/ymm.

To view the Florida Thrift Week resolution, click here.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Pensacola News Journal: Editorial: Let's be 'Scam Smart'

Florida Times-Union: Jacksonville company explores unmanned aircraft market

Sun-Sentinel: South Florida lures more corporate headquarters

Sun-Sentinel: Florida's restaurant industry poised for growth in 2014

USA Today: Small businesses say loans easier to get

Be Scam Smart Workshops for Seniors

CFO Atwater invites you to the 2014 Be Scam Smart Workshops for Seniors, starting in Santa Rosa County with Representative Doug Broxson. Be Scam Smart WorkshopsThe workshops, which are being held statewide as part of the CFO’s Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) initiative, provide information to seniors, their families and caregivers to help inform, empower, and protect them from financial scams and fraud.

The first two workshops will be held Tuesday, January 28, at 10 a.m. at the Santa Rosa County Auditorium, at 4530 Spikes Way in Milton and on Wednesday, January 29, at 10 a.m. at Warriors Hall, at 201 Stillwell Boulevard in Crestview, Florida.

The Be Scam Smart Workshops will teach seniors what to look for if a scam is suspected, as well as how the scams work and what steps to take if scammed. Operation S.A.F.E. is part of CFO Atwater’s On Guard for Seniors initiative, which arms seniors with the necessary information to avoid becoming victims of these crimes that can have far-reaching impacts on lives.

The Operation S.A.F.E. workshops are being provided by the Department of Financial Services, which CFO Atwater oversees, along with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Milton Police Department, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and the Crestview Police Department.

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).

Couple Arrested for Insurance Fraud

CFO Jeff Atwater on Tuesday announced the arrest of Miguel and Francheska Quintero of Hollywood for insurance fraud after Quintero falsely claimed that his vehicle was stolen from his home last July. A subsequent investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud revealed that Quintero and his wife arranged for the vehicle to be removed from the residence while they were away, after which they reported it stolen and filed a fraudulent stolen vehicle insurance claim.Division of Insurance Fraud Badge

“Committing fraud is an unacceptable and harmful act that drives up the cost of insurance for all Floridians,” said CFO Atwater. “I am proud of our investigative team’s effort to stop the fraudsters who lie and cheat the system.”

Quintero’s next door neighbor confirmed witnessing two men jumpstart the vehicle and drive it away, and then contacted Quintero who shared with his neighbor that he was aware of the activity. Miguel Quintero then reported his 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe was unlawfully removed from his home the day of the alleged incident. The following day, Quintero’s wife filed a stolen vehicle report with Geico insurance.

Francheska and Miguel Quintero were subsequently arrested. The couple owed $35,173 on the car loan and were three months late on payments at the time of the vehicle theft.

Florida's Bottom Line

2013 Small Business ReportInside Florida's Bottom Line, you’ll find the 2013 Small Business Survey. By providing a favorable business climate where Florida’s economy can flourish and expand, our state helps small businesses create jobs in our communities, bolster our economic growth and prosperity, and strengthen our financial position. Florida's Bottom Line will help equip you with the resources to understand and be a part of this mission.