Jeff Atwater Eager to Use Workers’ Comp Fraud-Fighting Tool

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater believes he will be able to better crack down on those in the check-cashing services industry that aid in workers’ compensation premium fraud now that Gov. Rick Scott has signed HB 1277.

The bill allows investigators from Atwater’s office to examine the services without prior notice. 

“I am eager to begin using these new fraud-fighting tools to tackle this complex and insidious type of fraud and to eliminate an inexcusable cost-driver on honest small businesses throughout the state,” Atwater stated in a release.

The bill also sets requirements for businesses to deposit workers’ compensation checks in banks.

Atwater’s office has contended that some check-cashing businesses are aware that a number of uninsured contractors have improperly used shell companies to buy insurance policies.

“Workers’ compensation fraud can be debilitating for many hard-working and law-abiding small businesses,” Rep. Daniel Davis, R-Jacksonville, who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, stated in a release. “As a member of the contracting industry, I have seen firsthand how pervasive this fraud has become.”

The bill was one of 80 Scott signed into law on Friday.
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