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Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater today announced that Joseph Edward Haas has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for setting a house fire in 2012 that injured four Martin County firefighters. Haas was convicted last month for attempted manslaughter, arson and arson resulting in injury. He also faces $1.3 million in restitution costs.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrests of three Jacksonville residents for personal injury protection (PIP) fraud. Yolanda Vargas, Christian Vargas and Willdelyn Rodriguez are each charged with one count of committing a staged motor vehicle accident and one count of insurance fraud.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who also serves as Florida’s State Fire Marshal, today announced the arrest of Sanford resident Curtis Smith on arson charges related to a recent mobile home fire in Sanford and asked for the public’s help to locate Smith’s half-brother, Steven Angle, as he may have information to assist in the investigation surrounding 10 other fires set in Sanford and the surrounding rural areas. The CFO also announced the reward for information leading to a conviction in the Sanford fires has been increased to $11,000.

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In the News

Florida's first-ever insurance consumer advocate is headed back to the post he inaugurated nearly 25 years ago. For the third time, Steve Burgess, 65, will become Florida's insurance watchdog, state CFO Jeff Atwater said Tuesday.
Get the smelling salts: A Florida property insurer is asking for a 9.3 percent rate cut. Consumer advocates are applauding but wondering why more insurers can’t do the same thing.
Eleven days ago, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater asked a question that is on many Floridians’ minds: When will the cost of property insurance start coming down?