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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater Appoints Thomas Kirwin as Deputy CFO Over Law Enforcement

2/3/2011

Contact: Alexis Lambert  850-413-2842

TALLAHASSEE—Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the appointment of veteran prosecutor and Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Kirwin as Deputy CFO over Law Enforcement with a laser-focus on combating insurance fraud.  Mr. Kirwin will oversee the Department of Financial Services’ three law enforcement areas: the Division of Insurance Fraud, which enforces the criminal laws related to insurance transactions, the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, which is responsible for conducting fire, arson and explosives investigations and the Office of Fiscal Integrity, which investigates fraud, waste and abuse of state money and resources.

“Tom’s long service as a prosecutor in military, state and federal courts makes him uniquely qualified to marshal a team of dedicated law enforcement officers and more aggressively prepare and present trial-ready cases for prosecution,” said CFO Atwater.  “I am honored that he agreed to join in the fight against fraud that is costing Florida families millions of dollars each year.” 

Combating insurance and financial fraud is one of CFO Atwater’s top priorities.  All types of insurance fraud cost the average Florida family as much as $400 to $700 a year in increased premiums.  Medicaid and public assistance fraud compound the financial burden on Floridians, with an estimated $2 billion in fraud, waste and abuse.

According to CFO Atwater, Mr. Kirwin is charged with developing and implementing strategies that will bring these costs down.  Personal Injury Protection fraud is particularly pervasive, with Florida ranked number one in the country for questionable medical claims associated with staged car crashes. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, three of the top five cities in the country for staged auto accidents are in Florida—Tampa, Miami and Orlando. CFO Atwater is committed to fighting fraud and entrusts Mr. Kirwin to help carry out this priority.

Mr. Kirwin is a veteran of the United States Army where he served as a JAG officer.  Following his military service, Mr. Kirwin served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Second Judicial Circuit where he supervised a felony trial division.  In 1992, Mr. Kirwin joined the United States Attorneys Office of the Northern District where he was appointed twice as Interim United States Attorney responsible for all federal prosecutions from Pensacola to Gainesville. 

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud.  CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.