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Department of Financial Services Enhances Law Enforcement Strategy with Newly-Formed Division of Investigative and Forensic Services

7/15/2016

For Immediate Release:
July 15, 2016
 
Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413-2842

 
Department of Financial Services Enhances Law Enforcement Strategy with Newly-Formed Division of Investigative and Forensic Services

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater today announced an exciting transition involving the law enforcement units housed within the Florida Department of Financial Services. Three sworn law enforcement units operate under the direction of the Department, which is led by CFO Atwater—the Division of Insurance Fraud, the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, and the Office of Fiscal Integrity. To create greater efficiencies and to streamline the way the Department does business, these units were combined into the newly-formed Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, also known as DIFS, effective July 1.


Division Director Simon Blank stated, “As a nationally-recognized leader in the fight against fraud, our ability to share intelligence and resources is paramount as we continually raise the bar by adjusting our methods and adapting our techniques to match an ever-evolving crime. By combining forces, we’re able to extend our reach and do more to protect the people of Florida from falling victim to acts of insurance fraud, arson or the misuse of state funds.”


Previously housed in separate divisions, the Division of Insurance Fraud, the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, and the Office of Fiscal Integrity each serve an important function in Florida’s fight against fraud. The Division of Insurance Fraud investigates reports of insurance fraud that drive up the cost of insurance rates in Florida, the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations examines signs of arson on fire scenes, and the Office of Fiscal Integrity addresses allegations of fraud, waste and abuse involving state funds.


The Department’s Office of Communications will continue to serve as the primary liaison with the news media for any inquiries regarding investigations, regulations, and activities involving the new Division of Investigative and Forensic Services.

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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. 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. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).