DOB: Vision Travel - FINE

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


IN THE MATTER OF:

VISION TRAVEL, INC.
a/k/a GLOBAL VISION TRAVEL

    ("Respondent")

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

ORDER IMPOSING FINE

DOCKET NO. CF-2008-844-B

I. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Chapter 672c of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Connecticut Business Opportunity Investment Act (“Act”);

WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Securities and Business Investments Division (“Division”) of the Department of Banking (“Department”), conducted an investigation into the activities of Respondent, its officers, agents, representatives and employees, pursuant to Section 36b-71(a) of the Act, to determine if any of them had violated, were violating or were about to violate provisions of the Act;

WHEREAS, on August 15, 2008, based on the investigation by the Division, the Commissioner, acting pursuant to Sections 36b-72(a) and 36b-72(b) of the Act, issued an Order to Cease and Desist (“Order”), Notice of Intent to Fine (“Fine Notice”) and Notice of Right to Hearing against Respondent collectively “Notice”), which Notice is incorporated by reference herein;

WHEREAS,the Notice stated that Respondent is to cease and desist from directly or indirectly violating the provisions of the Act and from the further sale or offer to sell business opportunities constituting or which would constitute a violation of the provisions of the Act;

WHEREAS, the Order provided that it would remain in effect and become permanent against Respondent if a hearing was not requested within 14 days of its receipt;

WHEREAS, the Fine Notice stated that the Commissioner intended to impose a fine against Respondent, that a hearing (“Fine Hearing”) would be held on the matters alleged in the Fine Notice on September 23, 2008, at the Department, and that if Respondent failed to appear at the Fine Hearing, the Commissioner may order that a maximum fine of Seven Hundred Ten Thousand Dollars ($710,000) be imposed upon Respondent;

WHEREAS, on August 18, 2008, the Notice was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Respondent (Certified Mail No. 70031680000085236205); and to Respondent’s counsel, Ortiz-Ortiz, Ocasio-Rivera & Assc., (Certified Mail Nos. 70031680000085236182 and 70031680000085236199);

WHEREAS, on August 22 and August 27, 2008, Respondent’s counsel received the Notice;

WHEREAS, on August 28, 2008, the Notice sent to Respondent was returned to the Department marked “Returned to Sender – Moved, Left No Address”;

WHEREAS, on September 4, 2008, the Notice was served on the Commissioner, and on September 8, 2008, Notice of Service on the Banking Commissioner was sent to Respondent in accordance with Section 36b-62(c) of the Act;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Notice that Respondent offered and sold, through its agents, prior to October 1, 2006, to at least one Connecticut purchaser and on or after October 1, 2006, to at least seven Connecticut purchasers, the products, equipment, supplies or services necessary to enable a purchaser to start a multi-level marketing, virtual travel agency in which purchasers earn income by selling travel services and recruiting new purchasers of the opportunity (“Vision Opportunity”);

WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Notice that at the time such offers and sales were made, the Vision Opportunity was not registered as a business opportunity in Connecticut and no registration for the Vision Opportunity as a business opportunity had been declared effective by order of the Commissioner under Sections 36b-60 to 36b-80, inclusive, of the Act, nor was the Vision Opportunity sold in conjunction with a federally-registered trademark or service mark;

WHEREAS, Section 36b-67 of the Act provides, in pertinent part, that “[n]o person shall in connection with the sale or offer for sale of a business opportunity:  (1) Sell or offer for sale a business opportunity in this state or from this state unless it has first been registered with the commissioner and declared effective by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of section 36b-62”;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner found in the Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that Respondent violated Section 36b-67(1) of the Act and that further offers to sell or sales of business opportunities in Connecticut would constitute violations of Section 36b-67(1) of the Act;

WHEREAS, Attorney Paul A. Bobruff, was appointed Hearing Officer for the Fine Hearing;

WHEREAS, Attorney Jesse B. Silverman represented the Department at the Fine Hearing;

WHEREAS, on September 23, 2008, Respondent failed to appear at the Fine Hearing;

WHEREAS, Section 36a-1-31(b) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies provides, in pertinent part, that “[w]hen a party fails to appear at a scheduled hearing, the allegations against the party may be deemed admitted”;

WHEREAS, Section 36b-72(b)(2) of the Act, prior to October 1, 2006, authorizes the Commissioner to impose a fine upon Respondent in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) per violation for violations that occurred prior to October 1, 2006, and Section 36b-72(b)(2) of the Act currently authorizes the Commissioner to impose a fine upon Respondent in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation for violations that occurred on or after October 1, 2006;

II.  FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1. The facts as set forth in paragraphs 6 through 10, inclusive, of the Notice shall constitute findings of fact within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and the conclusions set forth in paragraphs 11 through 17, inclusive, of the Notice shall constitute conclusions of law within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-1-52 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
2. There is sufficient evidence for the Commissioner to find that the offer and sale of the Vision Opportunity, absent registration and absent the Commissioner having declared the business opportunity effective, constitutes a violation of Section 36b-67(1) of the Act.
3. There is sufficient evidence for the Commissioner to find that the offer and sale of the Vision Opportunity, absent registration and absent the Commissioner having declared the business opportunity effective, in violation of Section 36b-67(1) of the Act, constitutes a basis for the imposition of a fine against Respondent under Section 36b-72(b) of the Act.
4.
There is sufficient evidence for the Commissioner to find that the facts require the imposition of a fine against Respondent.  The record establishes that Respondent from at least August 16 to November 3, 2006, Respondent violated Section 36b-67(1) of the Act when it sold through its agents an unregistered business opportunity to at to at least one Connecticut purchaser-investor prior to October 1, 2006, and to at least seven Connecticut purchaser-investors on or after October 1, 2006.  During the Fine Hearing, the Department sought a fine of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) for one violation of Section 36b 67(1) of the Act that occurred prior to October 1, 2006, and Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000) per violation for seven violations of Section 36b 67(1) of the Act that occurred on or after October 1, 2006, for a total of One Hundred Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($115,000).  There is no evidence in the record that Respondent has offered or provided restitution to the eight Connecticut purchaser-investors.  There is sufficient evidence for the Commissioner to find that a fine of One Hundred Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($115,000) is in the public interest and consistent with the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act.
5. There is sufficient evidence for the Commissioner to find that the Commissioner complied with the provisions of Section 36b-72(b)(1) of the Act.

III.  ORDER

Having read the record, I hereby ORDER, pursuant to Section 36b-72(b)(2) of the Act, that:

1. A fine of One Hundred Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($115,000) be imposed against Vision Travel, Inc. a/k/a Global Vision Travel, to be remitted to the Department of Banking by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, no later than 45 days from the date this Order is mailed; and
2. This Order shall become effective when mailed.

                                                     
Dated at Hartford, Connecticut         
this 5th day of November 2008. 

________/s/_________
Howard F. Pitkin
Banking Commissioner


This Order was mailed by registered mail,
return receipt requested, to Respondent
on November 6, 2008.

Vision Travel, Inc.             
d/b/a Global Vision Travel
First Street, Suite 304
Metro Office Park #7
Guaynabo, PR 00968
Certified Mail No. 7099 3400 0009 0180 2857

Ortiz-Ortiz, Ocasio-Rivera & Assc.
380 Escorial Avenue
Caparra Heights
San Juan, PR 00920
Certified Mail No. 7099 3400 0009 0180 2864

Ortiz-Ortiz, Ocasio-Rivera & Assc.
P. O. Box 364186
San Juan, PR 00936
Certified Mail No. 7099 3400 0009 0180 2871


Administrative Orders and Settlements