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Tampa Man Arrested for Defrauding 71-Year-Old Widow

3/10/2009

CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate
                (850) 413-2842  
   
~~ Arrest underscores CFO Sink’s legislation to
Safeguard our Seniors~~
 
TALLAHASSEE – Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today announced the arrest of a Tampa man who allegedly operated a scheme to defraud a 71-year-old widow out of $19,000. This arrest underscores the need for CFO Sink’s Safeguard our Seniors legislation, which creates tougher penalties for unscrupulous individuals who defraud senior investors and establishes better protections up-front for seniors who invest in annuities products.
 
Moctor “Justin” Ndiaye, 36, was arrested yesterday evening after leaving the residence of the senior victim where he was caught on videotape by detectives with CFO Sink’s recently accredited Division of Insurance Fraud. Since December 2008, Ndiaye “sold” the woman a high-yield annuity through Mutual of Omaha. However, DIF investigators discovered that the victim’s checks were never deposited into a Mutual of Omaha Annuity investment product, but rather in an account in Ndiaye’s name at another bank. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 
 
“The number of complaints from Florida seniors about annuities has nearly quadrupled in the last three years,” said CFO Sink. “Better financial protections for our growing population of senior residents and tougher consequences for those who defraud our seniors demand our immediate attention.”
 
CFO’s Sink’s department has opened over 470 investigations on financial fraud involving seniors, with approximately 70 percent of cases related to annuity and life insurance transactions.  Last fall, CFO Sink created a Safeguard our Seniors (SOS) Task Force to examine and recommend solutions to better protect Florida seniors against financial fraud.
 
This Legislative session, CFO Sink teamed up with key lawmakers to pass “Safeguard our Seniors” legislation that would make the act of “twisting” an annuity to a senior consumer a third degree felony, and create other protections for seniors against this type of financial fraud.
 
To learn more about the SOS Task Force or what to consider when purchasing annuities, visit www.FLSeniors.net. Senior Floridians who believe they may have been the victim of annuity fraud should call 1-877-My-FL-CFO or log on to www.MyFloridaCFO.com to file a complaint.