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Desperate Floridians Easy Prey for Scammers and Con Artists

David P. Meyer

Seniors are a prime target of con artists, which makes Florida - home to a large percentage of older Americans - a gold mine for fraudsters. Economic woes, including the foreclosure crisis, stock market volatility, and job losses, have also contributed to an ever-increasing number of Florida victims, according to a Sept. 5 article published on

One such fraud, according to federal prosecutors, is a recent alleged investment scheme perpetrated by James Davis Risher of Sanibel and Daniel Joseph Sebastian of Lakeland. Prosecutors alleged that Risher and Sebastian swindled at least 106 investors, including many retired teachers, out of more than $21 million in a Florida Ponzi scheme that promised returns of up to 51 percent. (Risher has agreed to plead guilty to the fraud.)

To help protect investors, President Obama created the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which brought state and federal agencies together to fight fraud. The government also launched a new website for reporting suspicious investments:

The Florida state legislature has decided to expand the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, which will (in addition to other duties) help fight investment fraud on a state level.

Scammers and con artists target victims in person, online, through the mail, and over the telephone. For tips on avoiding Florida investment fraud, click here.

For more information, read the full article here.