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CFO Alex Sink Launches New Video as Part of her Commitment to SOS Initiative

6/16/2010

CONTACT: Kevin Cate or Nina Banister (850) 413-2842
CFO ALEX SINK LAUNCHES NEW VIDEO AS PART OF HER COMMITMENT TO SOS INITIATIVE
TALLAHASSEE — Florida CFO Alex Sink, in continuing support of her Safeguard Our Seniors (SOS) initiative, today released a new video produced by her Department of Financial Services (DFS) to help seniors understand the questions to ask and the potential pitfalls to avoid when considering the purchase of an annuity.   The video can be accessed here: http://www.FLSeniors.net/video/ANNUITIESFINAL416.wmv
 
Over the past two years, DFS has held more than 400 free SOS workshops that have helped recover nearly $12 million for seniors who were scammed by annuity salespeople.  The video is the product of findings and advice that the Department has accumulated through the workshops, as CFO Sink and the Department’s efforts have repeatedly proved effective in teaching seniors how to identify potential financial fraud.
 
“I've stood up to the special interests for three years on behalf of Florida's seniors to enact the Safeguard Our Seniors legislation that will protect them from scammers, and these new protections will make a big difference for our seniors when it takes effect in January,” said CFO Sink. “Also, this new video is very useful in helping seniors to educate themselves on what to look out for.”
 
Governor Crist signed CFO Sink’s Safeguard Our Seniors legislation, sponsored by Senator Mike Bennett and Representative Maria Sachs, on June 1. The new legislation increases financial penalties for willful “twisting” or “churning” of an annuity, extends the free look period from seven days to 14 to 21 days, and provides better disclosures among other protections for seniors who buy annuities.  The legislation takes effect January 1, 2011.
 
After learning how to identify annuity fraud at one of CFO Sink’s SOS workshops, a vigilant senior tipped off investigators and participated in an undercover sting operation that led to Tampa Bay senior scammer Randolph Kahl-Winter being convicted a second time last week. Kahl-Winter, who had already lost his agent’s license because of his previous arrest in March 2009 for grand theft and insurance fraud, met with the victim as she signed documents for an annuity transaction. Division of Insurance Fraud investigators arrested Kahl-Winter as he left the meeting.  He was sentenced to
two years of community control, followed by 30 months of felony probation, in addition to fines and costs.
 
“Kahl-Winter demonstrates why our seniors need to be well-informed and protected, and why I am committed to continue to fight to see that our seniors have all the information they need to make the best decisions for their financial future,” said CFO Sink.
 
To learn more about CFO Sink’s Safeguard Our Seniors initiative or what to consider when purchasing annuities, visit www.FLSeniors.net.  Floridians who believe they may have been the victim of financial fraud should call (850) 413-3089 or toll-free at 1-877-My-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236), or visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com to file a complaint.
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