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Statement by CFO Sink on the Legislature’s Passage of the Annuity Fraud Bill

5/2/2008

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Kevin Cate
(850) 413-2842  

 ~~Legislation Targets Agents Using Predatory Annuity Practices Against Seniors~~
 
TALLAHASSEE-- Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today congratulated members of the Florida Legislature for passing legislation (SB 2082) that seeks to combat annuity fraud, including strengthening fines against agents who target Floridians using fraudulent annuities sales practices.  The legislation also makes it a third degree felony to submit a fraudulent signature, prohibits agents from using fake designations to falsely imply financial expertise, and clarifies and strengthens suitability requirements that agents must meet when selling an annuity to a consumer.
 
 “This legislation represents a good first step.  We were able to increase protections for seniors and punish agents who commit financially devastating crimes.  That said, I’m disappointed that we were unable to make it a felony to intentionally deceive a senior into an inappropriate annuity product.  And I’m not going to rest until we’re able to put unscrupulous agents that prey on our seniors behind bars.”
 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink  oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.