The State of California’s Business, Transportation and Housing Agency’s Department of Corporations has shut down a bait-and-switch scheme designed to sell fixed annuities to seniors. The department filed a desist and refrain order on July 29, barring the companies and salespeople involved from continuing to lure seniors with the offer of fraudulently high certificate of deposit (CD) rates.

Fidelity Insured Deposits heavily advertised CDs "with promised yields substantially higher than those being offered by actual FDIC-insured institutions," according to the order. Interested customers met with insurance agents representing FEP, an insurance company operating in California as Family Estate Insurance Services, who then tried to interest them in a fixed annuity.

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