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Alex Sink, Chief Financial Officer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. / Convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff, who will spend the rest of his life in federal prison for defrauding his investors out of $50 billion, managed roughly 4,000 accounts for Floridians, some of whom are blaming Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink for failing to regulate Madoff’s activities in this state.

Sink heads the Department of Financial Services, which oversees insurance fraud investigation, consumer protection, hedge funds, and registered investment advisors. 

Two sources who claim they were “victimized and neglected” by Sink’s office during her term as CFO spoke to Your Politics News this week on the condition of anonymity. One, a Miami-based retiree originally from Flint, Mich., said he felt Alex Sink should take responsibility for the Madoff scandal.

“Florida is Alex Sink’s state,” he said. “That means Florida is her problem. Why wasn’t her office aware of Bernie Madoff scheme four years ago?”

Another source claims she invested money with Sarasota hedge fund manager Arthur Nadel, who earlier this year pleaded guilty in a scheme that won him the title “mini-Madoff” on national news coverage. 

“It’s appalling when the leaders you elect to watch out for these crooks and cheaters are more concerned with campaigning for higher office,” she said. “Aren’t these hedge fund managers supposed to fall under Alex Sink’s responsibility?”

Democrat Alex Sink, elected to office in 2006, faces a tight race against Republican Rick Scott for Florida’s governor Nov. 2.

RealClearPolitics.com, a Chicago-based political poll tracker, projects Rick Scott with a slight lead over Alex Sink as of Sept. 28.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. / While Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has slammed gubernatorial challenger Rick Scott over his connection to Medicare fraud, two of Florida’s most egregious cases of consumer fraud–and the unfolding of the nation’s most infamous Ponzi scheme–have happened with Sink at the helm.

Elected as the state’s CFO in 2006, Sink heads the Department of Financial Services which oversees 13 divisions, including insurance fraud investigation, consumer protection, hedge funds, and registered investment advisors. One of those advisors, convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff, admitted in 2008 to defrauding $50 billion from Florida investors. Twenty-five percent of the accounts Madoff managed belonged to Floridians, the South Florida Business Journal reported.

With Florida’s gubernatorial election four weeks away, critics point out Sink did nothing to stop the Ponzi locomotive that thundered through Florida on both coasts under her leadership. Certain Florida hedge fund managers had invested with Madoff, sentenced last year to 150 years in federal prison, and many voters wonder why Alex Sink failed to discover the fraud sooner. Earlier this year Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein and Sarasota hedge fund manager Arthur Nadel pleaded guilty in unrelated schemes that defrauded consumers out of billions of dollars. The media even dubbed Nadel “mini-Madoff.”

Fred LaRosse, a Tampa-based Florida insurance agent, told Your Politics News that Alex Sink fought agents too hard when she should have kept a close eye on the likes of Rothstein and Nadel. 

“While she was trying to have insurance agents arrested for selling fixed annuities, Alex Sink missed the biggest financial fraud in history. And then there was Madoff,” LaRosse said. “Alex Sink’s department was responsible for regulating Bernie Madoff. If Sink couldn’t see fraud right in front of her, how could she ever run Florida as its governor?”

RealClearPolitics.com, a Chicago-based political poll tracker, projects Alex Sink with a 1.6-point lead over Republican challenger Rick Scott as of Sept. 22.

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