DOB: Vining-Sparks IBG, L.P. Consent Order

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IN THE MATTER OF:

VINING SPARKS IBG, L.P.


(CRD No. 27502) 
   

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CONSENT ORDER

No. CO-10-7851-S

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (the “Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Chapter 672a of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act (the “Act”), and Sections 36b-31-2 et seq. of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies promulgated under the Act (the “Regulations”);
 
WHEREAS, Vining Sparks IBG, L.P. (“Vining Sparks”) is a broker-dealer registered in Connecticut under the Act since June 27, 2000, and has its principal office located at 775 Ridge Lake Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Securities and Business Investments Division (the “Division”) of the Department of Banking, conducted an investigation under Section 36b-26 of the Act to determine whether Vining Sparks had violated, was violating or was about to violate any provision of the Act or any regulation or order under the Act (the “Investigation”);
 
WHEREAS, as a result of the Investigation, the Division obtained evidence, as more fully described in the Findings herein, that would support the initiation of administrative proceedings under Section 36b-15 of the Act to suspend or revoke Vining Sparks’ broker-dealer registration under the Act or to restrict or impose conditions on the securities activities that the firm may perform in this state and/or proceedings under Section 36b-27 of the Act seeking the entry of an order to cease and desist and/or an order imposing an administrative fine against Vining Sparks;
 
WHEREAS, an administrative proceeding under Sections 36b-15 and 36b-27 of the Act would constitute a "contested case" within the meaning of Section 4-166(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, Section 4-177(c) of Chapter 54 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides that "[u]nless precluded by law, a contested case may be resolved by stipulation, agreed settlement, or consent order or by the default of a party";
 
WHEREAS, Section 36b-31(a) of the Act provides, in part, that:  "The Commissioner may from time to time make, amend and rescind such . . . orders as are necessary to carry out the provisions of Sections 36b-2 to 36b-33 [now 36b-34], inclusive [of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act]";
 
WHEREAS, without holding a hearing and without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and prior to the initiation of any formal proceeding, the Commissioner and Vining Sparks reached an agreement, the terms of which are reflected in this Consent Order, in full and final resolution of the matters described herein;
 
WHEREAS, Vining Sparks, without admitting or denying any of the Commissioner’s allegations or findings, expressly consents to the Commissioner’s jurisdiction under the Act and to the terms of this Consent Order;
 
WHEREAS, Vining Sparks has registered as agents those individuals whose unregistered activity was the subject of the Division’s Investigation; and
 
WHEREAS, Vining Sparks, through its execution of this Consent Order, represents and agrees that none of the violations alleged in this Consent Order shall occur in the future;   

CONSENT TO WAIVER OF PROCEDURAL RIGHTS

WHEREAS, Vining Sparks, through its execution of this Consent Order, voluntarily waives the following rights:

1. To receive prior written notice within the meaning of Sections 36b-15(f), 36b-27(a), 36b-27(d) and 4-177(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
2. To present evidence and argument and to otherwise avail itself of Section 4-177c(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
3. To present its position in a hearing in which it is represented by counsel;
4. To have a written record of the hearing made and a written decision issued by a hearing officer; and
5. To seek judicial review of, or otherwise challenge or contest, the matters described herein, including the validity of this Consent Order;

CONSENT TO ENTRY OF FINDINGS

WHEREAS, Vining Sparks, through its execution of this Consent Order, accepts and consents to the entry of the following Findings by the Commissioner:

1. The entry of this Consent Order is appropriate, in the public interest and consistent with the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act; and
2. In contravention of Section 36b-6(b) of the Act, Vining Sparks employed numerous unregistered agents who effected securities transactions in this state, many of which were registered for an extended period of time;

CONSENT TO ENTRY OF SANCTIONS

WHEREAS, Vining Sparks, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner issuing an order imposing on it the following sanctions:

1. Vining Sparks, its representatives, agents, employees, affiliates, assigns, successors in interest, and those persons in active concert or participation with them shall cease and desist from engaging in conduct constituting or which would constitute a violation of the Act or any regulation or order under the Act, either directly or through any organizational or other device; and
2. No later than the date this Consent Order is entered by the Commissioner, Vining Sparks shall remit to the Department of Banking, via certified bank check or bank wire, payable to "Treasurer, State of Connecticut", the sum of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) which shall constitute an administrative fine;

CONSENT ORDER

NOW THEREFORE, the Commissioner enters the following:

1. The Sanctions set forth above be and are hereby entered;
2. Entry of this Consent Order by the Commissioner is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Vining Sparks based upon a violation of this Consent Order or the matters underlying its entry if the Commissioner determines that compliance with the terms herein is not being observed; and
3. This Consent Order shall become final when entered.


 
So ordered at Hartford, Connecticut      _______/s/_________
this 27th day of September 2010.      Howard F. Pitkin 
    Banking Commissioner 


CONSENT TO ENTRY OF ORDER

I, Harold L. Gladney, state on behalf of Vining Sparks IBG, L.P. that I have read the foregoing Consent Order; that I know and fully understand its contents; that I am authorized to execute this Consent Order on behalf of Vining Sparks IBG, L.P., that Vining Sparks IBG, L.P. agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the terms and conditions stated herein; and that Vining Sparks IBG, L.P. voluntarily consents to the entry of this Consent Order, expressly waiving any right to a hearing on the matters described herein.     

 
    Vining Sparks IBG, L.P.
   
              
By ______/s/_____________
Harold L. Gladney
  Chief Compliance Officer


On this 21 day of September 2010, personally appeared Harold L. Gladney, signer of the foregoing Consent Order, who, being duly sworn, did acknowledge to me that he was authorized to execute the same on behalf of Vining Sparks IBG, L.P. and acknowledged the same to be his free act and deed, before me.


_____/s/______________________________
Notary Public
Date Commission Expires: February 23, 2014


  

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