DOB: Terra Energy LLC - Fine Order

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IN THE MATTER OF:

TERRA ENERGY, LLC




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ORDER IMPOSING FINE

DOCKET NO. CF-13-7795-S

I. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

WHEREAS, the Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Chapter 672a of the General Statutes of Connecticut, the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act (“Act”), and Sections 36b-31-2 to 36b-31-33, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (“Regulations”) promulgated under the Act;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Securities and Business Investments Division of the Department of Banking (“Department”), conducted an investigation into the activities of Terra Energy, LLC (“Respondent”), pursuant to Section 36b-26(a) of the Act, to determine if Respondent had violated, was violating or was about to violate provisions of the Act or Regulations (“Investigation”);

WHEREAS, on July 12, 2013, based on the Investigation, the Commissioner, acting pursuant to Sections 36b-27(a) and 36b-27(d) of the Act, issued an Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Fine and Notice of Right to Hearing against Respondent (collectively “Notice”), which Notice is incorporated by reference herein;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner alleged in the Notice that the conduct of Anthony Charles Vassallo, alone and through the instrumentality of Respondent, constitutes, in connection with the offer, sale or purchase of any security, directly or indirectly employing a device, scheme or artifice to defraud, making an untrue statement of a material fact or omitting to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they are made, not misleading, or engaging in an act, practice or course of business which operates as a fraud or deceit upon any person.  Such conduct constitutes a violation of Section 36b-4(a) of the Act, which forms a basis for an order to cease and desist to be issued against Respondent under Section 36b-27(a) of the Act, and for the imposition of a fine upon Respondent under Section 36b-27(d) of the Act;

WHEREAS, the Notice stated, inter alia, that the Commissioner intended to impose a fine upon Respondent, that Respondent would be afforded an opportunity for a hearing on the allegations set forth in the Notice if a written request for a hearing was received by the Department within fourteen (14) days following Respondent’s receipt of the Notice, and that the Commissioner may order that the maximum fine be imposed upon Respondent if Respondent failed to request a hearing within the prescribed time period or failed to appear at any such hearing;

WHEREAS, on July 12, 2013, the Notice was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Respondent;

WHEREAS, on August 5, 2013, the Notice was returned to the Department of Banking marked “Return to Sender – Unclaimed – Unable to Forward”;

WHEREAS, on August 6, 2013, the Notice was served on the Commissioner, and on August 6, 2013, in accordance with Section 36b-33(h) of the General Statutes of Connecticut, Notice of Service on the Banking Commissioner In the Matter of:  Terra Energy, LLC, dated August 6, 2013 (“Notice of Service”), was sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to Respondent;

WHEREAS, Respondent has failed to request a hearing on the allegations set forth in the Notice within 14 days of the date of the Notice of Service;

WHEREAS, on August 28, 2013, a Certification was issued rendering the Order to Cease and Desist permanent as of August 21, 2013, which Certification is incorporated by reference herein;

WHEREAS, Section 36a-1-31(a) of the Regulations provides, in pertinent part, that:

When 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, provided the commissioner may, if deemed necessary, receive evidence from the department, as part of the record, concerning the appropriateness of the amount of any . . . fine . . . sought in the notice.

WHEREAS, Section 36b-31(a) of the Act provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he commissioner may from time to time make . . . such . . . orders as are necessary to carry out the provisions of sections 36b-2 to 36b-34, inclusive”;

AND WHEREAS, Section 36b-31(b) of the Act provides, in pertinent part, that “[n]o . . . order may be made . . . unless the commissioner finds that the action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors and consistent with the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of sections 36b-2 to 36b-34, inclusive."

II.  FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1. The Commissioner finds that the facts as set forth in paragraphs 6 through 16, inclusive, of the Notice, shall constitute findings of fact within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the General Statutes of Connecticut and Section 36a-1-52 of the Regulations, and that the Statutory Basis for Order to Cease and Desist and Order Imposing Fine set forth in paragraphs 17 through 27, inclusive, of the Notice shall constitute conclusions of law within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the General Statutes of Connecticut and Section 36a-1-52 of the Regulations.
2. The Commissioner finds that Respondent committed one violation of Section 36b-4(a) of the Act.
3. The Commissioner finds that the facts require the imposition of a fine upon Respondent.
4.
The Commissioner finds that the Notice complied with the requirements of Section 36b-27 of the Act and Section 4-177 of the General Statutes of Connecticut.
5. The Commissioner finds that the imposition of a fine upon Respondent is necessary and appropriate in the public interest and for the protection of investors and consistent with the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of Sections 36b-2 to 36b-34, inclusive, of the Act.

III.  ORDER

Having read the record, I hereby ORDER, pursuant to Section 36b-27(d) of the Act, that:

1. A fine of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) be imposed upon Terra Energy, LLC, such fine to be remitted to the Department by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, no later than forty-five (45) days from the date the Order Imposing Fine is mailed; and
2.
This Order Imposing Fine shall become final when mailed.


Dated at Hartford, Connecticut,        ______/s/__________ 
this 3rd day of September 2013.      Howard F. Pitkin 
      Banking Commissioner 



This Order was sent by certified mail,
return receipt requested, to
Respondent on September 4, 2013.

Terra Energy, LLC
195 West Newberry Road
Bloomfield, CT 06002
Certified mail no. 7012 3050 0002 1692 6149
                         


Administrative Orders and Settlements