Fla. Strengthens Securities Fraud Enforcement Power

By Jessica Dye (June 30, 2009, 12:00 AM EDT) -- On the same day alleged mega-Ponzi mastermind Bernard L. Madoff received a life sentence for misleading investors, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill to expand investor protections and give the state attorney general new powers to go after "another Madoff-type scheme."

On Monday, Crist signed the Investor Protection Act, sponsored in Florida's House of Representatives by Republican Rep. Tom Grady and the state Senate by Republican Sen. Garrett Richter.

The legislation will give the state Attorney General's Office authority to conduct securities fraud investigations and bring securities fraud lawsuits, with permission from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, as well...

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