DOB: Bulletin 2577 - July 12, 2013

The Department of Banking News Bulletin 

Bulletin # 2577
Week Ending July 12, 2013

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
Branch 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.
 
Date Bank Location Activity
07/15/13
 
Liberty Bank
Middletown
774 Farmington Avenue
Bristol, CT  06010
Opening
Date
11/01/13
 
Rockville Bank
Rockville
660 Enfield Street
Enfield, CT  06082
Closing
Date
 

SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY
Notice of Intent to Revoke Broker-dealer Agent Registration Issued
 
On July 8, 2013, the Banking Commissioner issued a Notice of Intent to Revoke Registration as an Agent (Docket No. NR-13-8093-S) with respect to David Miller of Rockville, New York.  Respondent Miller had formerly been associated with Rochdale Securities LLC, a securities brokerage firm located in Stamford, Connecticut.  Although Respondent Miller’s agent registration was withdrawn in November 2012, Connecticut law permits the Commissioner to initiate revocation proceedings within one year after a registration withdrawal becomes effective.
 
The Notice alleged that on April 15, 2013, Respondent Miller pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud, both felonies (United State of America v. David Miller, Case No. 3:13CR-00075-RNC (D. Conn.) in conjunction with unauthorized purchases of Apple, Inc. securities.  Respondent Miller is currently awaiting sentencing.  The Notice also alleged that, on April 18, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut permanently enjoined Respondent Miller from violating the antifraud provisions in Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 thereunder and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities and Exchange Commission v. David Miller, C.A. No. 13-522 JBA (D. Conn.).  In addition, the Notice alleged that Respondent Miller was the subject of an April 25, 2013 bar imposed by the SEC (Release No. 69460; Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-15-303).  Like the April 15, 2013 criminal proceeding, the civil injunctive action and the administrative bar were based on Respondent Miller’s transactions in securities of Apple, Inc.
 
Respondent Miller was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing on the allegations in the Notice of Intent to Revoke Registration as an Agent.
 

Westport firm Fined $1,000 for Securities Law Violations
 
On July 8, 2013, the Banking Commissioner entered into a Stipulation and Agreement (No. ST-12-8047-S) with Ocean Cross Capital Markets LLC, a broker-dealer that is in the process of deregistering with the various states.  The firm is located in Westport, Connecticut.  The Stipulation and Agreement alleged that the firm 1) failed to facilitate an examination of its books and records by agency staff; 2) employed an unregistered broker-dealer agent in violation of Section 36b-6(b) of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act; and 3) sold unregistered common stock of Bizzingo, Inc. (f/k/a Phreadz, Inc. and f/k/a Atwood Minerals & Mining Corp.) in violation of Section 36b-16 of the Act.  The Stipulation and Agreement acknowledged that a curative Rule 506 notice filing was received after the fact for the Bizzingo, Inc. offering.
 
In resolution of the matter, Ocean Cross Capital Markets LLC agreed to pay a $1,000 fine to the department and to refrain from violative conduct.
 

New York Man, Connecticut Limited Liability Company and a Delaware Entity Ordered to Cease and Desist from Regulatory Violations; Notice of Intent to Fine Issued
 
On July 12, 2013, the Banking Commissioner issued an Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Fine and Notice of Right to Hearing (Docket No. CF-13-7795-S) against 1) Anthony Charles Vassallo whose last known address is in Smithtown, New York; 2) Terra Energy, LLC (“Terra Connecticut”), a Connecticut limited liability company controlled by Vassallo; and 3) Terra Energy Resources, Ltd. (“Terra Delaware”), a Delaware entity whose main office addresses included Gibraltar; West Hartford, Connecticut; Hawthorne, New Jersey; Hartford, Connecticut; and, most recently Brooklyn, New York.  Also named in the action was Christian Meissenn of Orlando, Florida.
 
The action alleged that, commencing in February 2010 and following Vassallo’s formation of Terra Connecticut, Vassallo and Terra Delaware offered and/or sold unregistered Terra Delaware common stock in violation of Section 36b-16 of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act.  The action also alleged that 1) Vassallo transacted business as an unregistered agent of issuer and as an unregistered broker-dealer in violation of Section 36b-6(a) of the Act; and 2) Terra Delaware employed Vassallo as an unregistered agent of issuer.  The action further alleged that, while investors expected their stock purchase monies to be forwarded to Terra Delaware, in reality, Vassallo deposited those funds into his Terra Connecticut account as well as his personal account and then made multiple cash withdrawals to pay for personal expenses such as Costco purchases and veterinary bills.  Consequently, Vassallo, through the instrumentality of Terra Connecticut, allegedly violated the antifraud provisions in Section 36b-4(a) of the Act.
 
Insofar as respondent Meissenn was concerned, the action alleged that Meissenn and Vassallo were business associates and that Meissenn violated Section 36b-23 of the Act by making a materially false or misleading statement to Division staff during an investigation.
 
Each of the respondents was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing on the Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Intent to Fine.
 
       Dated:  Tuesday, July 16, 2013
 
 
       Howard F. Pitkin
       Banking Commissioner