DOB: Bulletin 2598 - December 6, 2013

The Department of Banking News Bulletin 

Bulletin # 2598
Week Ending December 6, 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
11/19/13
Manufactuers and Traders
  Trust Company
Buffalo, NY
*501 Merritt 7
  Norwalk, CT  06851
Opening
Date
*Loan Production Office

 Consent Order
 
On December 3, 2013, the Commissioner entered into a Consent Order with James C. Driscoll, III (“Driscoll”). The Consent Order was based on an investigation by the Financial Institutions Division. As a result of such investigation, the Commissioner alleged that Driscoll violated Section 36a-263 of the Connecticut General Statutes, violated Section 36a-53b(3) of the Connecticut General Statutes, engaged in an unsafe and unsound practice in connection with a bank, used his position in a manner contrary to the interest of a bank, and was negligent in the performance of his duties, all of which constitute grounds for removal pursuant to Section 36a-53(b)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes. As part of the Consent Order, Driscoll may not hold any position as a director, officer, employee or independent contractor with any bank, Connecticut credit union or federal credit union or with a holding company that holds a subsidiary that is a bank, or as a licensee or registrant under Title 36a or 36b of the Connecticut General Statutes, without the consent of the Commissioner.
 
Notice of Intent to Remove from Office, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty
and Notice of Right to Hearing
 
On December 5, 2013, the Commissioner issued a Notice of Intent to Remove from Office, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing (“Notice”) in the Matter of: Yolanda O’Keefe (“Respondent”). The Notice was the result of an investigation by the Financial Institutions Division. The Notice alleges that Respondent engaged or participated in an unsafe or unsound practice in connection with a credit union and used her official position in a manner contrary to the interest of a credit union, both of which constitute grounds for removal pursuant to Section 36a-53(b)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes and the imposition of a civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-53(d) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes. Respondent was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing with regard to the allegations set forth in the Notice.
 
INTEREST RATE TO BE PAID ON CLAIMS FOR PROPERTY, FUNDS OR MONEY
DELIVERED TO THE STATE TREASURER PURSUANT TO SECTION 3-57a(a)(1) or (2),
PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY, CERTIFIED TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDER
AND ELECTRIC SUPPLIER CUSTOMER SECURITY DEPOSITS,
MORTGAGE ESCROW ACCOUNTS AND TENANT SECURITY DEPOSITS
 
In accordance with Sections 3-70a(e), 47a-21(i)(2) and 49-2a(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, the deposit index for calendar year 2014 is 0.09%.  Therefore, the interest rate for rental security deposits, claims for property, funds or money delivered to the State Treasurer and for mortgage escrow accounts is 0.09%.
 
In accordance with Section 16-262j(d), the deposit index for calendar year 2014 is 0.09%.  However, Section 16-262j(c) provides that in no event shall the rate be less than 1.5%.  Therefore, the interest rate for public service company, certified telecommunications provider and electric supplier customer security deposits is 1.5%.
 
These rates are for the period commencing January 1, 2014 and ending December 31, 2014.
 

CONSUMER CREDIT DIVISION ACTIVITY
Order Revoking Consumer Collection Agency License and
Order to Cease and Desist
 
On November 26, 2013, the Commissioner issued an Order Revoking Consumer Collection Agency License and Order to Cease and Desist (“Order”) in the Matter of:  American Collection Systems, Inc. d/b/a American Consumer Solutions (“Respondent”), Westerville, Ohio.  The basis of the Order was that Respondent failed to maintain a surety bond that ran concurrently with the period of its consumer collection agency license.  In the Order, the Commissioner revoked Respondent’s license to act as a consumer collection agency in this state from 811 Greencrest Drive, Westerville, Ohio, and ordered Respondent to cease and desist from violating Section 36a-802(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2013.
 

SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY
Consent Order
 
On December 3, 2013, the Banking Commissioner entered a Consent Order with respect to Christian Meissenn of Orlando, Florida.  Meissenn, who was also known as Christian Nigohossian, Christian Mason, Christopher Mason and Christian Levon Nigohossian, had been the subject of two administrative actions by the agency.  On September 16, 2013, the Commissioner issued an Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Fine and Notice of Right to Hearing (Docket No. CF-13-7839-S) against multiple respondents, including Meissenn. The September 16, 2013 action had alleged that, commencing in 2001, Meissenn and other respondents sold unregistered securities of Speed of Thought Trading Corporation, Rescon Technology Corporation, Northeast Development Corporation, The African Diamond Company, Inc., Ironclad Investments, LLC and Hybrid Automotive Technologies, Inc. in violation of Section 36b-16 of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act.  The action further alleged that Meissenn violated the antifraud provisions of the Act by inducing investors who previously bought securities issued by one or more of the referenced entities to swap their shares at a premium for different securities, promising profitability but not disclosing critical information on the entity, the involvement of Meissenn in the entity’s operations and the impact of dilution. The action had further alleged that Meissenn engaged in a second fraudulent scheme which involved defrauding investors of Terra Energy Resources, Ltd. (“Terra”), a Delaware corporation quoted on OTC Link LLC.  Meissenn was also the subject of a July 12, 2013 Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Fine and Notice of Right to Hearing (Docket No. CF-13-7795-S) which alleged that Meissenn violated Section 36b-23 of the Act by making a materially false or misleading statement to Division staff during an investigation.
 
The Consent Order obviated the need for a hearing on the September 16, 2013 and July 12, 2013 administrative actions.
 
The Consent Order barred respondent Meissenn for ten years from 1) directly or indirectly soliciting or accepting funds for investment purposes for public or private investors in or from Connecticut; 2) transacting business in or from the state as a broker-dealer, agent, investment adviser or investment adviser agent; and 3) engaging in any other activity that would require registration under the state's securities laws.  The Consent Order also directed respondent Meissenn to cease and desist from violative conduct and to pay $14,000 in partial restitution to affected Connecticut investors by December 27, 2013.  The Consent Order indicated that respondent Meissenn had provided documentation evidencing his financial inability to pay full restitution or the amount of the fine that otherwise could have been assessed against him.
 
Order Imposing Fine
 
On December 4, 2013, the Commissioner entered an Order Imposing Fine (Docket No. CF-13-7839-S) against Damian Seth Delgado of Orlando, Florida.  Delgado was the co-manager of Ironclad Investments, LLC, a Connecticut limited liability company located in Bloomfield, Connecticut.  Ironclad Investments LLC allegedly held itself out as “a high-performance, arbitraged FOREX fund.” Respondent Delgado and others had been the subject of a September 16, 2013 Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Fine and Notice of Right to Hearing.  The September 16, 2013 action had alleged that respondent Delgado materially aided in a scheme to defraud investors of Terra Energy Resources, Ltd.
 
Respondent Delgado did not appear or contest the imposition of the fine which was entered by default.
 
Finding that respondent Delgado materially aided in fraudulent conduct perpetrated by correspondents Christian Meissenn and Gabriel Abensur, the Commissioner fined respondent Delgado $50,000.
 
 

        Dated:  Tuesday, December 10, 2013

 
 
       Howard F. Pitkin
       Banking Commissioner