August 24, 2009
CFO SINK push for 'alligator teeth' in senior scam laws
“After hundreds of investigations and thousands of complaints,
it’s time that the State of
CFO Sink first called for better financial protections for seniors after her department heard from hundreds of seniors who were convinced to liquidate annuities, CDs, stocks and savings accounts to fund new annuities, only to discover these actions robbed them of their savings. In the past six years, her department has fielded more than 2,400 calls and complaints from consumers regarding this type of fraud.
commend CFO Sink for her continued commitment to safeguarding
CFO Sink created a Safeguard our Seniors Task Force last year
to examine and recommend solutions to better protect
the last fiscal year, CFO Sink’s department opened 267 annuity investigations
involving seniors statewide and 52 in the Tampa Bay Area, recovering more than
$1.5 million for
· Bonnie Madden, 82, who at the advice of agent Randolph H. Kahl-Winter, liquidated her existing investments to purchase two annuities with 10- and 15-year surrender periods. The transactions generated $52,355 in commissions for the agent, but Madden would have been unable to pay the premium on this inflated policy and would have cost Madden nearly $300,000 of her life savings if the Department of Financial Services had not intervened. CFO Sink’s Department of Financial Services recovered Madden’s money.
· Anne Ridings, Director of Guardianship with Lutheran Services Florida, who represented the late Joseph Seale. At the age of 85, Seale was sold three annuities that represented all of his liquid assets. Within three months of the sale, Seale was in the hospital twice and Lutheran Services Florida was appointed as his guardian by the courts. Lutheran Services notified the department that Seale was being evicted from the nursing home because he had no funds. CFO Sink’s Department of Financial Services intervened and got back his full investment totaling more than $250,000.
· Robert and Marie St. Germaine were convinced by agent Randolph H. Kahl-Winter to take monies from their investment accounts and place them in a Flexible Premium Deferred Annuity, which had a surrender period. They ended up borrowing money from friends to make ends meet. With the help of CFO Sink’s Department of Financial Services, they received a refund totaling $201,000 plus interest.