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Man on probation for financial fraud is arrested in insurance inquiry

NEW PORT RICHEY — In September, Randolph Kahl-Winter was sentenced to 15 years of probation for draining more than $400,000 from the accounts of an 82-year-old woman he called his second mother.

Kahl-Winter was an insurance agent who handled Bonnie Madden's finances, selling her bad investments that netted him fat commissions. Madden told her story at Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink's "Safeguard Our Seniors" task force meetings, hoping others won't become victims, too.

Madden wanted Kahl-Winter to face prison time. In a story in the St. Petersburg Times, Mike Halkitis, chief prosecutor for the state attorney's New Port Richey division, said a long probation isn't a slap on the wrist.

"It's really hard," he said. "A good percentage of people don't make it."

It appears Kahl-Winter didn't.

He was arrested Wednesday and is charged with making insurance transactions with a revoked license and violating his probation. Kahl-Winter, 48, who lives in New Port Richey, was arrested in Clearwater Beach and remains at the Pinellas County jail without bail.

The Florida Department of Financial Services said a senior citizen tipped off the agency that Kahl-Winter had misrepresented an annuity. The victim participated in a sting operation. According to the department, the senior met with Kahl-Winter and an alleged accomplice, Donald Alan Robert, to buy another annuity. After signing the documents, investigators with the Division of Insurance Fraud swooped in and arrested both men.

"This unscrupulous scammer met his match when he tried to prey on another senior just months after previously being convicted of grand theft," Sink said in a press release. "This case is another disturbing example of why we need to create tougher penalties and better protections for Florida's seniors."

Robert, 55, also of New Port Richey, was charged with aiding and abetting an unlicensed insurance agent. He was released from jail Thursday on $5,000 bail.

Madden said she trusted Kahl-Winter implicitly and was so hurt when she found out he manipulated her. The state's Department of Financial Services has recovered nearly $300,000 of Madden's money. She's still out $100,000, she said. Kahl-Winter used to greet her with hugs and kisses, telling people she was like a mother to him.

"I'm tickled to death," Madden said Friday of Kahl-Winter's new arrest.

"I hope they keep him locked up this time."

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

Fast facts

Are you a victim?

People who think they have been the victim of financial fraud can go to www.MyFloridaCFO.com to file a complaint or call the Florida Department of Financial Services at (850) 413-3089 or toll-free 1-877-693-5236. Go to www.FLSeniors.net to learn more about the "Safeguard Our Seniors" workshops or what to consider when purchasing annuities.

Man on probation for financial fraud is arrested in insurance inquiry 12/11/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 11, 2009 8:44pm]
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