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My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

In the past week, our Division of Insurance Fraud has successfully investigated two significant fraud schemes that preyed on the trust of Floridians. Today, we arrested five NBRC Roofing Company employees for organizing a $525,000 insurance fraud scheme. This Tampa-based company is accused of leaving 97 Florida homeowners with unfinished roof repairs and liens on their homes after stealing insurance money intended to pay subcontractors.

Florida Division of Insurance Fraud BadgeOur investigation discovered the roofing scam involved visiting homeowners following a storm, convincing them roof repairs were necessary, helping the homeowners file insurance claims for repairs and finally convincing them to give NBRC the sole right to make the repairs and the assignment of benefits for the insurance claims. But once NBRC was paid for the insurance claim, the repairs would not be completed and the insurance money would be pocketed by NBRC employees.

On Friday, we also arrested Paula Kampf Albertson, a Plant City financial advisor and insurance agent, for stealing $200,000 in insurance claims from her clients. Our investigation found that Albertson exploited her elderly clients by making Albertson’s own family the beneficiaries of her clients’ insurance benefits.

Frauds and Scams - your guide to outsmarting the scam artists.I am proud of our team’s efforts to investigate these crimes and arrest these crooks. Insurance fraud drives up the cost of insurance for everyone, which is why my team works so hard every day to hold fraudsters accountable.

If you are aware of or suspect insurance fraud may be taking place, I encourage you to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. Our department has awarded almost $349,000 to nearly 60 citizens as part of our Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.

For more information about how to protect yourself from frauds and scams, click here.

Jeff
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

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SaintPetersBlog: Florida Chamber survey shows small business optimism

Associated Press: Businesses won't have to return BP spill payouts

Five NBRC Roofing Company Employees Arrested for $525,000 Insurance Fraud Scheme

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrests of five NBRC Roofing Company employees for organizing a $525,000 insurance fraud scheme. The Tampa-based company is accused of leaving 97 homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties with unfinished roof repairs and liens on their homes after stealing insurance money intended to pay subcontractors.

Florida Division of Insurance Fraud Badge"I am proud of our investigators for arresting these disgraceful criminals who took advantage of Florida families and robbed many from having a safe roof above their heads," said CFO Atwater. "These crooks must be held accountable for their crimes."

An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud discovered the insurance scam involved visiting homeowners following a storm, convincing the homeowners roof repairs were necessary, helping the homeowners file insurance claims for the repairs and finally convincing the homeowners to give NBRC the sole right to make the repairs and the assignment of benefits for the insurance claim. But once NBRC was paid for the insurance claim, the repairs would not be completed and the insurance money would be pocketed by NBRC employees.

The defendants are each charged with organizing a scheme to defraud, a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The defendants arrested today include:

  • Frank Martin Pureber, Apollo Beach
  • Carlton D Dunko, Tampa
  • Stacy Lynn Dunko, Tampa
  • Joel Samuel Deserio, Tampa
  • Alexander Josue Gomez, Riverview

Additional arrests are expected to be made of the following individuals:

  • Eric Shane Johnson, Bradenton
  • Christopher Michael Rios, Brandon
  • Benjamin Zebulon Matthews, Lakewood Ranch

The cases will be prosecuted by the Office of Statewide Prosecution.

"My Office of Statewide Prosecution will aggressively prosecute these individuals for their alleged role in an insurance and construction fraud scheme that preyed upon Florida homeowners," said Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Anyone with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded almost $349,000 to nearly 60 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.

Plant City Financial Advisor Arrested for Stealing $200,000 from Florida Seniors

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater recently announced the arrest of Plant City financial advisor and insurance agent Paula Kampf Albertson for stealing $200,000 in insurance claims from her clients. An investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud revealed Albertson exploited her elderly clients by making Albertson’s own family the beneficiaries of her clients’ insurance benefits.

"Fraud of any kind is intolerable, but it is especially repugnant when it involves taking advantage of the trust of Florida seniors," said CFO Atwater. "I applaud our investigators' efforts to bring this woman to justice."

In May of 2011, Albertson changed the home address on a dying client’s annuity policy to her own home address. Shortly after, she ordered a change of beneficiary form that named her husband and stepson, both licensed insurance agents with the Albertson Financial Group, as beneficiary and contingent beneficiary. Within weeks, the client passed away. After filing a death benefits claim, Albertson’s husband fraudulently collected more than $150,000. To circumnavigate a Florida law prohibiting agents from being named beneficiaries on a client’s policy, Albertson lied, saying her husband and step-son were the client’s cousin and nephew.

One year later, one of Albertson’s other clients was contacted by her insurance company regarding a nearly $50,000 cash surrender on her annuity account. In a sworn statement, the client indicated she had not requested the payout and that the signature on the resulting check was not her own. An investigation revealed that Albertson again changed her client’s home address to collect and fraudulently endorsed the check over to her company for personal gain. Since then, at least three additional victims have been identified, but the loss dates are beyond the statute of limitations.Operation S.A.F.E Be Scam Smart Workshops

In an effort to expedite professional licensure revocation processes, Albertson has agreed to a guilty plea of insurance fraud entailing a minimum 21-month prison sentence, immediate license termination and a prohibition on the acceptance of profits from any practice of insurance.

Florida seniors seeking information and help to protect themselves from fraud can visit www.myfloridacfo.com/SAFE. Operation S.A.F.E is a multi-division outreach initiative led by CFO Jeff Atwater and the Florida Department of Financial Services, designed to Stop Adult Financial Exploitation by protecting Florida’s seniors from financial fraud and scams through education. Comprehensive scam and fraud prevention workshops are being held across the state to inform seniors on the many tactics scam artists use to steal their hard-earned money.

Florida Economic Briefs

Real Gross Domestic Product increases in second quarter
In the second quarter of 2014, real gross domestic product in the United States increased by 4.6 percent over the year. This is the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and is based on more complete source data not previously available. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased by 2.1 percent.
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Personal Income increases $47.3 billion in August
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, both personal income and disposable personal income increased by 0.3 percent in August. Increases have also been noted in wages and salaries, which increased $30.4 billion, 13 percentage points higher than July ($17.4 billion).
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Florida's Bottom Line - Small Business

Florida's Bottom Line - Summer 2014Small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy, which is why we are focused on cultivating an environment where they can continue to thrive. Florida is home to 2.3 million small businesses, which constitute nearly 99 percent of our state’s employers. These businesses are truly the heart of Florida’s economic lifeblood, employing one-in-every three working Floridians and creating nearly two-thirds of new private sector jobs statewide.

This edition of Florida’s Bottom Line highlights why Florida's small businesses must continue to grow, prosper and remain in our state for our economy to thrive. Inside, you will find keen insight from small business experts as well as a wide array of helpful resources for your small business.

Read the small business edition of Florida's Bottom Line here.

Fostering Financial Prosperity


This special issue of Florida’s Bottom Line offers an overview of the Department of Financial Services’ transparent, fiscally-sound and consumer-oriented accomplishments since 2011.

Fostering Financial Prosperity

Spanish Be Scam Smart Workshop Dates

Family Foundations Virtual Financial CityIn honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, 2014, a new initiative has been launched to promote financial literacy and fraud prevention in Florida’s Hispanic communities.

The Family Foundations initiative is part of Your Money Matter$, www.MyFloridaCFO.com/YMM, which provides information on a variety of financial topics to Florida consumers.

The Operation S.A.F.E workshops and the accompanying website, www.MyFloridaCFO.com/SAFE, have already helped more than 12,500 Florida seniors protect themselves from becoming victims of financial fraud. Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) Be Scam Smart workshops in Spanish will be offered throughout Central and South Florida.

Spanish Be Scam Smart Workshop Dates and Locations:

  • Tuesday, October 7 in Miami, Florida
    Little Havana Nutrition Center from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    700 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33130


  • Wednesday, October 8 in Hialeah, Florida
    Goodlet Park Senior Center from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    900 W. 44th Street, Hialeah, FL 33012