Boca philanthropist Barry Kaye will not face formal state investigation
By Scott Travis
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted June 20 2007
The state will not launch a formal investigation into Boca Raton philanthropist Barry Kaye’s relationship with a company accused of defrauding the elderly, an official from the Department of Financial Services said Tuesday.
The department conducted a preliminary review of Kaye’s involvement with Coventry LLC, a company that buys life insurance policies from the elderly, after receiving a report from the Office of Insurance Regulation. That report, which was part of an effort to shut down Coventry, said Kaye and his son, Howard Kaye, improperly received $800,000 in a scheme to defraud a 73-year-old woman.
The case created national media attention, since Kaye is well known in insurance circles and has donated $17 million to Florida Atlantic University. But Coventry officials told state officials last month they had submitted incorrect information,
and that Kaye had no involvement in any questionable transaction.
The Department of Financial Services never began a formal investigation of Kaye, only a review to determine if one was warranted, spokeswoman Nina Banister said. “Certainly with Coventry indicating that they had provided the wrong information, and he was not involved, that had a bearing,” she said.
Kaye said he felt relief after learning about the state’s decision.
“I knew from the beginning I was not involved in this particular situation, and it has caused myself and my family great consternation,” he said. “I am very thankful the situation has been resolved and hopefully my life can go back to normal.”
Kaye said he became so disillusioned by media reports about him that he considered withdrawing a $13 million pledge to FAU’s College of Business, which is named after him. He said he will keep his pledge intact.
No one from FAU was available for comment Tuesday afternoon, spokeswoman Kristine McGrath said.
Scott Travis can be reached at email@example.com or 561-243-6637.