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CFO Sink’s Safeguard Our Seniors Effort Nabs Tampa-area Senior Scammer

2/4/2010

CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Jennifer Hirst (850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE—Florida CFO Alex Sink’s Division of Insurance Fraud arrested Richard M. Incandela, 57, for selling nearly $500,000 worth of bogus insurance policies to two Hillsborough County senior citizens.  Incandela made the sale by falsely represented himself as a licensed insurance agent at a pitch to a local church. CFO Sink’s investigators were able to arrest Incandela in an undercover sting operation after the victims’ stories were uncovered at one of Sink’s Safeguard Our Seniors workshops.

“Florida seniors need better protection from financial fraud and more information on the front end – reforms I have been trying to put into law for years,” said CFO Sink. “This latest Tampa arrest is yet another outrageous example of innocent seniors falling prey to deceptive sales practices.”

This week, the Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance unanimously passed CFO Sink’s Safeguard our Seniors legislation (SB 844) sponsored by Senator Mike Bennett and Representative Maria Lorts Sachs. The legislation holds those who prey on Florida’s seniors accountable by increasing the penalty for unscrupulous agents to a third degree felony and establishing better disclosures and protections upfront for seniors who invest in annuity products.
The Safeguard our Seniors bill passed the Florida Senate unanimously last, but failed to be heard in the Florida House. 

Incandela was arrested during an undercover operation by CFO Sink’s Division of Insurance Fraud after making promises and solicitations regarding life insurance policies.  From December 2007 through September 2009, Incandela received 15 premium payments totaling  $489,426 from two senior citizens he met after making presentations at a local church. The victims were told to make payments to two fraudulent corporations, both of which listed Incandela as the manager and president.  Incandela led the victims to believe he had obtained life insurance policies through legitimate insurance companies in the seniors’ names and that the policies would be sold to a third party for a profit, known as a Stranger-Originated Life Insurance (STOLI) transaction.

Incandela was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, charged with Scheme to Defraud, a first-degree felony, and Unlicensed Selling of Insurance, a third-degree felony.  If convicted, he faces up 35 years in prison.

To learn more about the Safeguard Our Seniors 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.