As the economy goes down, the scams against seniors in the nation's eldest state could be on the increase. So state CFO Alex Sink on Tuesday called for a new "Safeguard Our Seniors" task force to propose laws and rules to crack down on financial fraud.
Sink made the announcement with an 81-year-old retiree named David Green who said he was swindled out of his retirement money by two scammers selling bad annuities. "They said they had some information that would be beneficial to me and I naively let them in the house," he said.
Last year, Sink proposed an annuity-fraud bill. But it failed in the Legislature. Sink blamed Metropolitan life and its lobbyists for killing the deal. She said she'd try again and wants to make sure penalties are increased to make it worthwhile for prosecutors to pursue bad actors. Right now, she said, "the penalties are a slap on the wrist."