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 Jorge L. Perez, Banking Commissioner, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800. 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, address how the establishment of the branch will be consistent with safe and sound banking practices and promote the public convenience and advantage. 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.
Salisbury Bank and Trust Company
275 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
Filed - Full Service
CONSUMER CREDIT DIVISION ACTIVITY
Order to Cease and Desist and Order Imposing Civil Penalty
On February 7, 2017, the Commissioner issued an Order to Cease and Desist and Order Imposing Civil Penalty (“Order”) in the Matter of: Leonardi Ortiz d/b/a Student Reform Associates
(“Respondent”), California. The basis of the Order was that Respondent engaged in debt negotiation in this state without the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes. Respondent was ordered to cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and to pay a civil penalty of $100,000. In addition, the Order to Make Restitution previously issued against Respondent on November 30, 2016, remains in effect and became permanent on December 23, 3016.
SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY
Amended and Restated Order to Cease and Desist, Amended and Restated Order
to Make Restitution and Amended and Restated Notice of Intent to Fine Issued
On February 17, 2017, the Banking Commissioner amended and restated an August 17, 2016 Order to Cease and Desist, Order to Make Restitution, Notice of Intent to Fine and Notice of Right to Hearing (Docket No. CRF-16-8169-S)
previously issued against Omniview Capital Advisors, LLC
(“Advisors”) of Norwalk, Connecticut and Abraxas J. (“AJ”) Discala
, Chief Executive Officer and principal of Advisors. Advisors marketed itself as a merchant bank that sought to create partnerships with entities that were fundamentally sound in order to provide required capital and strategic advice. The action was amended to add Omni View Capital LLC
(“Capital”) as a respondent. Capital, which shared the same business address as Advisors and was also controlled by Discala, held itself out as a privately held investment advisory and merchant banking firm.
As amended, the action alleged that Advisors and Capital each transacted business as an unregistered broker-dealer in violation of Section 36b-6(a) of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act and that Discala transacted business as an unregistered broker-dealer agent. Specifically, Respondents Advisors and Discala had been retained by Crackpot Inc., a Nevada entity, and Scanbuy, Inc., a Delaware corporation, to raise funds for those issuers on a compensated basis. According to the amended action, Advisors and/or Capital, through Discala, sold shares of Crackpot Inc. and Scanbuy, Inc. to Connecticut investors in 2014. The securities sold were not registered in contravention of Section 36b-16 of the Act. In addition, the amended action alleged that the respondents violated the antifraud provisions in Section 36b-4(a) of the Act by failing to disclose to the investors the risks associated with the Crackpot Inc. and Scanbuy, Inc. investments; financial information relating to the investments; the registration status of the shares; and the fact that Advisors, Capital and Discala were not registered under the Act. The amended action acknowledged that the Scanbuy, Inc. investors had received a $7,500 partial refund from respondent Capital. Originally, the action had stated that the partial refund came from respondent Advisors.
Newly added respondent Capital was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing on the allegations. The joint request for a hearing previously filed by Advisors and Discala was preserved as it related to the allegations in the amended action.