Florida authorities convict seller of phony life insurance

Incandela took nearly $490K from two senior citizens

Dec 6, 2012 @ 11:03 am

By Darla Mercado

Richard M. Incandela this week was convicted of pilfering close to $490,000 from two senior citizens in Florida who thought they were buying into stranger-originated life insurance.

Florida's chief financial officer said Mr. Incandela was sentenced to 34 months in prison plus 25 years of probation and was ordered to pay restitution to the seniors. The conviction came after an investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services' Insurance Fraud and Agent and Agency Services divisions.

According to Jeff Atwater, Florida's CFO, between December 2007 and September 2009, Mr. Incandela — who was never licensed as an agent in the state — collected 15 premium payments from a pair of seniors totaling $489,426.

The phony agent met the two following a church presentation he had made. Mr. Incandela told the elderly investors they would collect a profit and the return of their principal after the secondary-market sale of life insurance policies that were taken out in their name — all part of a Stoli transaction.

But instead of sending out the money to cover premium payments, the fake agent used the money for his own purposes.

Mr. Incandela was incarcerated in May 2010, and the conviction is the final chapter in his checkered insurance-selling career.

In fact, in February of that year, he was arrested in a life insurance sting operation set up by state authorities. Mr. Incandela met an undercover police detective and solicited a payment of $528,000 to purchase nonexistent life insurance policies.

He was sued twice in 2009, once by the St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, Fla., and once by Mid-American Christian University in Oklahoma City.

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