DOB: Alarcon Law Group, et al. - CD-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:

ALARCON LAW GROUP, P.C.
("Alarcon")

NATIONAL LEGAL ASSOCIATES
LAW FIRM, P.A.
a/k/a NATIONAL LAW ASSOCIATES
("NLA")

R.M.A. LEGAL NETWORK
a/k/a ATT LEGAL NETWORK
("R.M.A.")

    (collectively "Respondents")

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ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

AND

ORDER IMPOSING CIVIL PENALTY


I.  PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Debt Adjusters and Debt Negotiation”;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking (“Department”), conducted an investigation of the activities of Respondents, pursuant to the authority granted by Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, to determine if they had violated, were violating or were about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;
 
WHEREAS, on June 27, 2013, the Commissioner, acting pursuant to Sections 36a-52(b), 36a-50(c), 36a-671a(b), 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issued a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Order to Make Restitution (“Order to Make Restitution”), Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing (collectively “Order and Notice”) against Respondents, which Order and Notice is incorporated herein by reference;
 
WHEREAS, on June 28, 2013, the Order and Notice was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Alarcon (Certified Mail No. 70123050000216929584); to NLA (Certified Mail No. 70123050000216929591); and to R.M.A. (Certified Mail No. 70123050000216929607);
 
WHEREAS, the Order and Notice provided Alarcon with the opportunity for a hearing, and stated that if a hearing was not requested by Alarcon within 14 days of Alarcon’s receipt of the Order and Notice, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against such Respondent and the Commissioner would issue an order that Alarcon cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Alarcon;
 
WHEREAS, the Order and Notice provided NLA with the opportunity for a hearing, and stated that if a hearing was not requested by NLA within 14 days of NLA’s receipt of the Order and Notice, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against NLA and the Commissioner would issue an order that NLA cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon NLA;
 
WHEREAS, the Order and Notice provided R.M.A. with the opportunity for a hearing, and stated that if a hearing was not requested by R.M.A. within 14 days of R.M.A.’s receipt of the Order and Notice, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against R.M.A. and the Commissioner would issue an order that R.M.A. cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon R.M.A.;
 
WHEREAS, on July 11, 2013, the Order and Notice sent to R.M.A. was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Forward Time Expired”;
 
WHEREAS, on July 12, 2013, the Order and Notice sent to Alarcon was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Unable to Forward”;
 
WHEREAS, on July 18, 2013, the Order and Notice sent to NLA was returned to the Department marked “Returned to Sender – Not Deliverable as Addressed – Unable to Forward”;
 
WHEREAS, on July 19, 2013, a copy of the Order and Notice was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to R.M.A. (Certified Mail No. 70121010000173174896);
 
WHREREAS, on August 14, 2013, the copy of the Order and Notice sent to R.M.A. on July 19, 2013, was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Unclaimed”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he order shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending”;
 
WHEREAS, Respondents failed to request a hearing within the prescribed time period;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Order and Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that Alarcon’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license constitutes one violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, also in the Order and Notice, the Commissioner ordered, pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that not later than thirty (30) days from the date the Order to Make Restitution becomes permanent, Alarcon repay an identified Connecticut resident $2,750, plus interest, and repay any other Connecticut resident who entered into an agreement for debt negotiation services with Alarcon on and after October 1, 2009, any fees paid by such Connecticut resident plus interest, and provide evidence of such repayments to the Director of the Consumer Credit Division;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Order and Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that NLA’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license constitutes four violations of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, also in the Order and Notice, the Commissioner ordered, pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that not later than thirty (30) days from the date the Order to Make Restitution becomes permanent, NLA repay fees to identified Connecticut residents in amounts identified, plus interest, and repay any other Connecticut resident who entered into an agreement for debt negotiation services with NLA on and after October 1, 2009, any fees paid by such Connecticut resident plus interest, and provide evidence of such repayments to the Director of the Consumer Credit Division;  
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Order and Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that R.M.A.’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license constitutes four violations of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, also in the Order and Notice, the Commissioner ordered, pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that not later than thirty (30) days from the date the Order to Make Restitution becomes permanent, R.M.A. repay fees to identified Connecticut residents in amounts identified, plus interest, and repay any other Connecticut resident who entered into an agreement for debt negotiation services with R.M.A. on and after October 1, 2009, any fees paid by such Connecticut resident plus interest, and provide evidence of such repayments to the Director of the Consumer Credit Division;
 
WHEREAS, the Order to Make Restitution as it pertains to each Respondent remains in effect and became permanent against each Respondent on July 20, 2013;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[i]f the person does not request a hearing within the time specified in the notice or fails to appear at the hearing, the commissioner shall issue an order to cease and desist against the person.  No such order shall be issued except in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(a)(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that “[i]f such person does not request a hearing within the time specified in the notice or fails to appear at the hearing, the commissioner may, as the facts require, order that a civil penalty not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars per violation be imposed upon such person”;
 
WHEREAS, Section 36a-50(a)(3) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides that “[e]ach action undertaken by the commissioner under this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54”;
 
AND WHEREAS, Section 36a-1-31(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies provides, in pertinent part, that “[w]hen a party fails to request a hearing within the time specified in the notice, the allegations against the party may be deemed admitted.  Without further proceedings or notice to the party, the commissioner shall issue a final decision in accordance with section 4-180 of the Connecticut General Statutes and section 36a-1-52 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies”.

 
II.  FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1.
The Commissioner finds that the matters asserted, as set forth in paragraphs 1 through 35, inclusive, of Section II of the Order and Notice, shall constitute findings of fact within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and that the conclusions, as set forth in paragraphs 1 through 3, inclusive, of Section III of the Order and 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.
The Commissioner finds that Respondents have engaged in acts or conduct which, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against each Respondent, and, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms the basis to impose a civil penalty upon each Respondent.
3.
The Commissioner finds that the Order and Notice were given in compliance with Section 36a-52(a), subsections (a) and (c) of Section 36a-50 and Section 4-177 of the Connecticut General Statutes.


III.  ORDER

Having read the record, I HEREBY ORDER, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b), 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes that:

1.
Alarcon Law Group, P.C., CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011;
2.
A CIVIL PENALTY of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) be imposed upon Alarcon Law Group, P.C., 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 thirty (30) days from the date this Order is mailed;
3.
National Legal Associates Law Firm, P.A. a/k/a National Law Associates CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
4.A CIVIL PENALTY of Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($400,000) be imposed upon National Legal Associates Law Firm, P.A. a/k/a National Law Associates 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 thirty (30) days from the date this Order is mailed;
5.R.M.A. Legal Network a/k/a ATT Legal Network CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
6.A CIVIL PENALTY of Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($400,000) be imposed upon R.M.A. Legal Network a/k/a ATT Legal Network, 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 thirty (30) days from the date this Order is mailed; and
7.This Order shall become effective when mailed.

 

Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 22nd day of August 2013.             

 ________/s/_________
 Howard F. Pitkin
 Banking Commissioner

This Order was sent by certified mail,
return receipt requested, to each
Respondent on August 23, 2013.


Alarcon Law Group, P.C.                                   Certified Mail No. 70020860000215459847
2758 Middle Country Road, Suite 202A
Lake Grove, New York 11755

National Legal Associates Law Firm, P.A.             Certified Mail No. 70020860000215459854
a/k/a National Law Associates
1924 9th Street, Suite E
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

R.M.A. Legal Network                                       Certified Mail No. 70020860000215459861
a/k/a ATT Legal Network
4250 Veterans Highway, Suite 2010W
Holbrook, New York 11741

R.M.A. Legal Network                                       Certified Mail No. 70020860000215459878
a/k/a ATT Legal Network
P.O. Box 1359
Ronkonkoma, New York 11779-0826                      
 


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