- Updating you on what's going on
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and the Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced the recent arrest of insurance representative, Claudia Estevez, and her client, Ariel Mora, following an investigation led by DFS’ Bureau of Insurance Fraud. In an alleged attempt to evade a higher insurance premium, Estevez aided Mora by helping him submit a fictitious insurance application allowing Mora to fraudulently obtain a less expensive, inadequate insurance policy.
La noche del martes, el Oficial Principal de Finanzas y Jefe de Bomberos del Estado Jimmy Patronis habló con el Jefe de Bomberos del Estado de Texas Chris Connealy y el Departamento de Seguros de Texas y ofreció todo el apoyo y los recursos de la comunidad de bomberos de la Florida para ayudar en la recuperación tras la devastación causada por el Huracán Harvey.
“Even in the heart of a devastating situation, Fire Marshal Connealy remains optimistic about recovery efforts thus far, and was grateful for the support of Florida and other states as Texas begins to pick up the pieces following the worst storm in recent memory,” said CFO Patronis. “We know recovery is measured not in days or weeks, but in months and even years, and we’re prepared to support Texas recovery efforts for the long haul.”
Mientras las aguas comienzan lentamente a bajar en Texas, el Oficial Principal de Finanzas Patronis también ofrece todos los recursos de los experimentados investigadores de fraude de seguros de la Florida, quienes están entrenados para combatir estafas que suelen ocurrir luego de catástrofes naturales, como por ejemplo contratistas sin licencia y falsos representantes de FEMA que cobran por ayudar a presentar reclamaciones de seguro contra inundaciones federales.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced the recent arrest of Juan Jose Castro, owner of JACM Construction Corp., after his alleged attempt to operate a shell company with the sole intent of circumventing the state’s workers’ compensation laws. A “shell company” is an entity that conducts no significant business operations and can be used as vehicle to conduct fraudulent financial transactions, such as workers’ compensation fraud.
Castro obtained a workers' compensation policy for JACM Construction Corp. April 25, 2017. When obtaining the policy, Castro provided his business operated with an estimated annual payroll of $112,000.00 for work classified under the description of wallboard installation and carpentry.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced that the first of two 2017 unclaimed property auctions, held Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, earned $1.194 million. All of the auction’s nearly 48,000 individual items sold, and the highest grossing individual auction item was a 14k gold ring with a 4.02-carat European cut diamond that sold for $11,500.
Items included in the Department of Financial Services’ unclaimed property auctions come from abandoned safe deposit boxes. Despite at least five years of exhaustive efforts, no rightful owner or entitled heir stepped forward to claim the boxes or the items contained within them. However, the proceeds earned from the sale of auction items can be claimed at any time and at no cost should an owner ever come forward.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and the Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced the recent arrest of an Oviedo woman, Kistin Bentley, following her alleged submission of fraudulent applications for public assistance benefits to the Department of Children and Families. As a result of her actions, Bentley received $19,322 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as food stamps or SNAP, and Medicaid benefits that she did not qualify for.
From May 2014 through September 2016, investigators with DFS’ Division of Public Assistance Fraud (DPAF) discovered that Bentley submitted multiple applications for public assistance. On those applications, Bentley stated the only income made available to her household was through her husband’s employment, allowing Bentley to qualify for public assistance.
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) announced that John Edward Simpson, 64, entered a plea of guilty to eight felony counts of grand theft, 12 felony counts of securities fraud, 12 felony counts of failing to register a security, and 12 felony counts of failing to register as a securities dealer. Simpson, a resident of Tarpon Springs, perpetrated an investment fraud scheme out of Safety Harbor.
The Office of Insurance Regulation has received the 2018 Florida workers’ compensation rate filing by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which proposes a statewide average premium decrease of 9.6%. This includes a statewide average rate decrease of 9.3% and a reduction of the fixed expense cost applicable to every workers’ compensation policy in Florida from $200 to $160. The new rates would become effective January 1, 2018.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced the appointment of John M. McKay to the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Board of Governors.
McKay, of Bradenton, is president of The Riverside Real Estate Company, and he brings more than 35 years of real estate and property management experience to the board of governors. McKay served in the Florida Senate from 1990-2002, also serving as Senate President from 2000-2002.
McKay earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, where he also completed post-graduate studies. He has remained involved in his community, serving as board chairman for the Manatee Rural Health Foundation and the McKay Academy. He is a former board chairman for the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Ringling Museum of Art.
McKay sucede al ex miembro de la junta, Juan Cocuy, por un período de tres años que finaliza el 31 de julio de 2020.
We highly recommend licensees routinely check their Mi Perfil accounts for messages from the Department. We send an email notification when a message has been sent to remind you to check your Mi Perfil account, but on rare occasions you may not receive that email. For this reason, we suggest you add our domains dfs.state.fl.us y MyFloridaCFO.com to your email software's Trusted or Safe Senders List to ensure you are able to receive email notifications from us. Licensees who have a valid email address on file with the Department, as required by law, are sent important email notifications when something affecting their application, license, continuing education, or appointment(s) occurs. Additionally, we will keep you informed with warnings regarding new schemes and scams being marketed to licensees. You can update your contact information through your Mi Perfil account. We want to keep you informed in a timely manner of pertinent information. You are still required to abide by the Florida Insurance Code regardless of whether you read the information we provide or attempt to provide.