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CFO Atwater Announces Arrest of Delray Beach Insurance Agent for Scamming Seniors Out of Life Savings

4/6/2011

CFO Atwater Announces Arrest of Delray Beach Insurance Agent for Scamming Seniors Out of Life Savings
 
TALLAHASSEE—Florida CFO Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Larry Yale Krakow, 53, of Delray Beach, on charges of organized scheme to defraud and grand theft involving numerous senior annuity transactions in the Palm Beach County area.  The arrest follows a nine-month suspension and a $25,000 fine previously levied against Krakow following an extensive administrative review by Department’s Division of Agent and Agency Services.  The arrest this week was made by the Department’s Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF).
 
An arrest warrant was issued after it was determined that Krakow made several financial investment presentations to senior citizens’ groups in the Palm Beach County area and scammed seniors into buying inappropriate annuities that earned him thousands of dollars in commissions while leaving the victims without access to their life savings.  Krakow also induced some seniors into signing promissory notes which contained very appealing payment clauses with a higher than market interest yields.  The senior investors trusted Krakow to earn them more on their investments.  Krakow then created confusion by making some payments, promises for payments, and phone calls full of excuses about not making payments.

 “Florida’s seniors have worked hard to earn their money,” said CFO Atwater.  “Criminals like this are another unfortunate example of the fraud that is being perpetrated in our state against citizens of all ages. We will continue to work hard to fight fraud and to keep your money in your pocket where it belongs.”

Krakow was arrested Monday and charged with grand theft from a senior Floridian, two counts of organized scheme to defraud greater than $50,000, and grand theft over $100,000.  Bond was set at $15,000 per count. The 15th Circuit State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the charges.
 
Anyone who suspects they may be a victim of annuity fraud should log on to www.MyFloridaCFO.com or call the department’s Consumer Helpline at 850-413-3089 or 1-877-My-FL-CFO (877-693-5236).

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud.  CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.