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unclaimed property

Jeff Atwater announces new record — $275 million — in returned property

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The state has returned $275 million in unclaimed property thus far this fiscal year, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced Thursday — setting a new record with a month and a half yet to go. The returns represented more than 425,000 individual claims, and surpassed the previous record $271.8 million returned during 2015-16. “Month after month and year after year, our unclaimed property team has continued to raise the bar,” Atwater said. “Their dedication and commitment to putting these forgotten-about…

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Jeff Atwater wins first round of $1 billion bonds fight with feds

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has scored a preliminary win in his fight against the federal government over U.S. savings bonds he holds as unclaimed property. The U.S. Treasury has agreed to redeem “just over 1,000 bonds, worth a little more than half a million dollars, excluding accrued interest,” Atwater spokeswoman Ashley Carr said Thursday. The total value of all the bonds in question is more than $1 billion. A Treasury spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In November, Atwater sued the…

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Jeff Atwater to deliver unclaimed money to South Florida hospital

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater says he’ll hand-deliver a check worth more than $1 million in unclaimed insurance benefits to Fort Lauderdale’s Holy Cross Hospital this week. The media event is yet another victory lap for the CFO, who championed a measure that became law this year, requiring insurance companies to track down beneficiaries. It was later featured on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” That same law, however, is now being challenged in a Tallahassee court by insurers who call it unfair. Atwater on…

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Email insights: Jeff Atwater offers Floridians a different kind of Easter ‘hunt’

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For those celebrating Easter Sunday, one of the great traditions for children (and more than a few adults) is the Easter Egg hunt. As the faithful prepare with friends and family to celebrate a sunrise service or feast, a new email from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater reminds Floridians of a different kind of “hunt” – treasure hunts available anytime. “Our unclaimed property program offers an easy way to determine if we are holding funds in your name,” Atwater writes…

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Today on Context Florida: Voter laws, Florida State Parks, public service, Donald Trump and unintended consequences

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Today on Context Florida: The 2016 presidential election is increasingly on the mind of voters as moments from the televised debates, and primary results reverberate through the media. Beverlye C. Neal says the fight to protect the right to vote has also received lots of media attention because Florida and other states have seen election laws passed that make it harder for many voters to participate in the process. When faced with laws erecting barriers to the ballot, the federal courts…

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$1.5 million goes into public education thanks to CFO Jeff Atwater’s unclaimed property auction

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More than $1.5 million was raised for Florida’s public schools during the 2015 unclaimed property auction held last Saturday in Jacksonville. According to a release from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater Tuesday, the auction was the second-highest-yielding auction ever, trailing only behind an auction in Fort Lauderdale two years ago that yielded $1.7 million. This year’s auction included more than 50,000 items from abandoned safe deposit boxes. Funds from the contents of those boxes are held in a public education…

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