CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Arrest of Miami Man For Stealing Nearly $300,000 in State Funds
Contact: Chris Cate
(850) 413- 2842
TALLAHASSEE - Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Jacques Albert Calixte, owner and operator of the Haitian American Association against Cancer in Miami, for stealing nearly $300,000 intended to help screen Haitian American women for cancer.
“Stealing state funds intended to help prevent a vulnerable population of Floridians from suffering the consequences of cancer is unconscionable,” said CFO Atwater. “I am proud of our investigators for their work to put this selfish fraudster behind bars where he belongs.”
An investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Office of Fiscal Integrity found that between 2011 and 2013, Calixte provided fraudulent bank statements and payroll checks to the Florida Department of Health in order to receive payments. He also provided information about clients who never received treatment, complete with fabricated healthcare clinic reports.
Calixte, doing business as the Haitian American Association Against Cancer, was found to have spent as little as $16,000 for client screenings in 2011. Between 2012 and 2013, investigators found no evidence of expenditures for clinical screening or testing for Haitian American women as required by the contracts.
“When mammograms and early cancer screenings are matters of life and death for low-income women, stealing the money intended to save their lives is a new low,” said Miami Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, whose office will prosecute the case. “Ending these thefts will mean that future funding will go to individuals and agencies intent on saving lives, not lining one’s pocket.”
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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 Accounting and Auditing Office of Fiscal Integrity. 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.