The Department of Banking News Bulletin
Bulletin # 2369
Week Ending July 17, 2009
This bulletin constitutes the only official notification you will receive from this office concerning any of the following applications. Any observations you may have are solicited. Any comments should be in writing to Howard F. Pitkin, Banking Commissioner, at the Connecticut Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800 or via E-mail. Written comments will be considered only if they are received within ten days from the date of this bulletin.
State Bank Activity
Section 36a-145 of the Connecticut General Statutes requires certain applications for a branch, or for a limited branch at which loans will be made, be accompanied by a plan detailing how adequate services to meet the banking needs of all community residents will be provided. Plans are submitted when such applications are filed and are available for public inspection and comment at this Department for a period of 30 days. Questions concerning branch activity should be directed to the Financial Institutions Division, (860) 240-8180.
FROM: 1340 Springfield Street
Feeding Hills, MA 01030
TO: 5 North Westfield Street
Feeding Hills, MA 01030
CONSUMER CREDIT DIVISION ACTIVITY
Check Cashing Service License Activity
Frog Bridge Check
Cashing Plus, LLC
600 Main Street
Willimantic, CT 06226
On July 1, 2009, the Commissioner entered into a Settlement Agreement with Envision Lending Group, Inc.
(“Envision Lending Group”). The Settlement Agreement was based on an examination by the Consumer Credit Division. As a result of such examination, the Commissioner alleged that Envision Lending Group employed or retained, during the period of December 2005 through March 2007, two individuals as originators without registering them in violation of Sections 36a-486(b) and 36a-511(b) of the then applicable Connecticut General Statutes. Envision Lending Group agreed to voluntarily make a contribution to the State Regulatory Registry LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”), in the amount of $2,000 to support the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, jointly developed by the CSBS and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators. A copy of the Settlement Agreement can be obtained from the Department’s website
Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Order of Summary Suspension,
Notice of Intent to Revoke Mortgage Lender License,
Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist
On July 1, 2009, the Commissioner issued a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Order of Summary Suspension, Notice of Intent to Revoke Mortgage Lender License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Right to Hearing (“Notice”) In the Matter of: Bergin Financial, Inc.
(“Respondent”). The Notice alleged that Respondent failed to maintain a surety bond that ran concurrent with its license for 29200 Northwestern Highway, Suite 350, Southfield, Michigan, in violation of Section 36a-492(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes. The Commissioner also found that public welfare required the issuance of a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist and that public safety and welfare required the issuance of an Order of Summary Suspension of Respondent’s mortgage lender license in Connecticut. Respondent was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing with regard to the allegations set forth in the Notice. A copy of the Notice can be obtained from the Department’s website
SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY
Amended and Restated Order to Cease and Desist and
Amended and Restated Notice of Intent to Fine Issued
On July 16, 2009, the Banking Commissioner issued an Amended and Restated Order to Cease and Desist and an Amended and Restated Notice of Intent to Fine superseding an April 7, 2009 Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Fine and Notice of Right to Hearing with respect to TDA Advantage Trust and Thomas F. Desteph, both of 1 Dustin Lane, Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Respondent Desteph is also the owner of the Desteph Agency, an insurance and financial planning firm. The amended action alleged that in 2002 and 2003, respondent Desteph offered and sold unregistered TDA Advantage Trust notes to a Connecticut investment advisory client who had received a $100,000 inheritance from her mother's estate. The amended action also alleged that, to persuade the client to invest, respondent Desteph represented that the client would achieve a 6.15% return when, in actuality, the terms of the note promised a significantly lower rate and imposed a monthly service charge for five years. The amended action also alleged that 1) the investor did not receive any payments on the note in accordance with its terms nor was her money returned to her; 2) in connection with the sale, the respondents failed to disclose investment risk factors, financial information on either respondent or that respondent Desteph would use the client's money to pay for his personal and household expenses; and 3) the respondents’ conduct violated the antifraud provisions of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act. The amended action further alleged that Thomas F. Desteph transacted business as an unregistered agent of issuer in violation of Section 36b-6 of the Act, and that TDA Advantage Trust also violated Section 36b-6 by employing respondent Desteph as an unregistered agent. The respondents were afforded an opportunity to request a hearing on the Amended and Restated Order to Cease and Desist. A hearing on the Amended and Restated Notice of Intent to Fine is pending.
Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Intent to Fine Issued
On July 16, 2009, the Banking Commissioner issued an Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Fine and Notice of Right to Hearing with respect to Robert Tarini of 46 Bell Schoolhouse Road, Richmond, Rhode Island. According to the action, respondent Tarini testified in response to an investigatory subpoena that 1) he was the president of Markland Technologies, Inc., a Rhode Island holding company that held various intellectual property assets related to electro-optic and biometric sensing technologies; and 2) previously, he and one Chad A. Verdi had jointly owned interests in Bay View Capital, LLC, Dyer Avenue Associates, VFM Realty and Syquest. The action alleged that, in violation of Section 36b-23 of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act, respondent Tarini made materially false or misleading oral statements in his subpoenaed testimony with respect to the role played by Chad A. Verdi in soliciting prospective investors for Markland Technologies, Inc. and in negotiating a specific financing transaction between Markland Technologies, Inc. and a Connecticut hedge fund. The respondent was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing on the Order to Cease and Desist. A hearing on the Notice of Intent to Fine has been scheduled for September 17, 2009.