DOB: Great Plains Lending, LLC - Temp CD-Rest-NOI CD-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:
 
GREAT PLAINS LENDING, LLC
("Great Plains")
     
JOHN B. SHOTTON 
("Shotton") 

CLEAR CREEK LENDING
("Clear Creek")

      (collectively, "Respondents")

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TEMPORARY ORDER TO
CEASE AND DESIST

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
 

I. LEGAL AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION

The Banking Commissioner (“Commissioner”) is charged with the administration of Part III of Chapter 668, Sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, “Small Loan Lenders”, and the regulations adopted thereunder, Sections 36a-570-1 to 36a-570-17, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (“Regulations”).

Pursuant to the authority granted by Section 36a-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Acts 14-7 and 14-89, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking (“Department”), has investigated the activities of Respondents to determine if they have violated, are violating or are about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes or Regulations within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner.

Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, provides, in pertinent part, that:

The commissioner, in the commissioner’s discretion, may, subject to the provisions of section 36a-21 and the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200, (1) make such public or private investigations . . . within or outside this state, concerning any person subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner, as the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the duties of the commissioner, (2) require or permit any person to testify, produce a record or file a statement in writing, under oath, or otherwise as the commissioner determines, as to all the facts and circumstances concerning the matter to be investigated or about which an action or proceeding is pending . . . .

Section 36a-52 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any provision of the general statutes within the jurisdiction of the commissioner, or any regulation . . . adopted . . . thereunder, the commissioner may send a notice to such person by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that provides a dated delivery receipt.  The notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such notice shall include:  (1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (2) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; (3) a reference to the particular sections of the general statutes, [or] regulations . . . alleged to have been violated; (4) a short and plain statement of the matters asserted; and (5) a statement indicating that such person may file a written request for a hearing on the matters asserted within fourteen days of receipt of the notice.  If a hearing is requested within the time specified in the notice, the commissioner shall hold a hearing upon the matters asserted in the notice, unless the person fails to appear at the hearing.  After the hearing, the commissioner shall determine whether an order to cease and desist should be issued against the person named in the notice.  If 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.

(b)  If the commissioner finds that the public welfare requires immediate action, the commissioner may incorporate a finding to that effect in the notice sent in accordance with subsection (a) of this section and issue a temporary order requiring the person to cease and desist from the activity which constitutes such alleged violation and to take or refrain from taking such action as in the opinion of the commissioner will effectuate the purposes of this section.  Such temporary order shall become effective on receipt and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in the notice.

Section 36a-50 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a) (1)  Whenever the commissioner finds as the result of an investigation that any person has violated any provision of the general statutes within the jurisdiction of the commissioner, or any regulation . . . adopted . . . thereunder, the commissioner may send a notice to such person by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that provides a dated delivery receipt.  The notice shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such notice shall include:  (A) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; (B) a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; (C) a reference to the particular sections of the general statutes, [or] regulations . . . alleged to have been violated; (D) a short and plain statement of the matters asserted; (E) the maximum penalty that may be imposed for such violation; and (F) a statement indicating that such person may file a written request for a hearing on the matters asserted not later than fourteen days after receipt of the notice.

(2)  If a hearing is requested within the time specified in the notice, the commissioner shall hold a hearing upon the matters asserted in the notice unless such person fails to appear at the hearing.  After the hearing, if the commissioner finds that the person has violated any such provision, [or] regulation, . . . the commissioner may, in the commissioner’s discretion and in addition to any other remedy authorized by law, order that a civil penalty not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars per violation be imposed upon such person.  If 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.

(3)  Each action undertaken by the commissioner under this subsection shall be in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. . . .

(c)  Whenever the commissioner finds as the result of an investigation that any person has violated any provision of the general statutes within the jurisdiction of the commissioner, or any regulation . . . adopted . . . under such provisions, the commissioner may, in addition to any other remedy authorized by law, order such person to (1) make restitution of any sums shown to have been obtained in violation of any such provision, [or] regulation . . . plus interest at the legal rate set forth in section 37-1 . . . .  After the commissioner issues such an order, the person named in the order may, not later than fourteen days after the receipt of such order, file a written request for a hearing.  The order shall be deemed received by the person on the earlier of the date of actual receipt or seven days after mailing or sending.  Any such hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.


II.  MATTERS ASSERTED

1.
Great Plains is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians with an address of 8151 Highway 177, Red Rock, Oklahoma, which allegedly operates within the boundaries of the Otoe-Missouria Reservation (“Reservation”).
2.
Clear Creek is an entity with an address of 3910 W. 6th Avenue, Box 242, Stillwater, Oklahoma, which allegedly operates within the boundaries of the Reservation.
3.
At all relevant times hereto, Shotton served as Chairman of both the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians (“Tribe”) and its Tribal Council, the Tribe’s supreme governing body (“Tribal Council”).  Shotton also approved the Operating Agreement of Great Plains and serves as Great Plains’ Secretary/Treasurer.
4.
At all relevant times hereto, Ted Grant (“Grant”) served as Vice-Chairman of the Tribe and its Tribal Council.  Grant also serves as an officer of Great Plains and on its Board of Directors.
5.The Tribal Council developed, approved and enacted the Otoe-Missouria Consumer Finance Services Regulatory Ordinance (“Ordinance”) to govern all consumer finance business activity occurring within the Tribe’s jurisdiction, and established the Otoe-Missouria Consumer Financial Services Regulatory Commission.
6.On May 4, 2011, the Tribal Council passed Resolution OMTC# 54293 creating Great Plains, granting to Great Plains the consumer lending license required under Section 104 of the Ordinance and waiving the fees, application and renewal requirements of Sections 105, 106, 107, 108 and 109 of the Ordinance.
7.From at least September 2013 to the present, Great Plains offered, via US mail, e-mail and its website at www.greatplainslending.com, unsecured consumer loans in amounts of $100 to $2,000 with annual interest rates of 199.44% to 448.76% (“Consumer Loans”).  In particular, consumers received Consumer Loan solicitations at their Connecticut residences, and Great Plain’s website solicited consumers, including Connecticut residents, via a drop-down list of state abbreviations, to “Apply Now” or to call 1-877-836-1506 to receive a Consumer Loan.
8.Consumer Loans are funded by tribal-owned bank accounts held at banks located off the Reservation, including, but not limited to, Missouri Bank in Kansas City, Missouri.  As Chairman of the Tribe and Secretary/Treasurer of Great Plains, Shotton has direct knowledge of the contents of the Tribe’s bank accounts, including how such bank accounts are used and funded.
9.On or about September 16, 2013, a Connecticut resident entered into a “Consumer Loan Agreement” with Great Plains (“Agreement”) agreeing to pay interest at a rate of 199.44% on a Consumer Loan in the amount of $1,500.  Shortly thereafter, the loan amount was electronically deposited into the Connecticut resident’s bank account.
10.On or about October 16, 2013, another Connecticut resident entered into an Agreement agreeing to pay interest at a rate of 349.05% on a Consumer Loan in the amount of $1,000.  Shortly thereafter, the loan amount was electronically deposited into such resident’s bank account.  To date, such resident has made payments from this state to Great Plains totaling in excess of $2,134.
11.On or about October 22, 2013, a third Connecticut resident entered into an Agreement agreeing to pay interest at rate of 398.20% on a Consumer Loan in the amount of $800.  Shortly thereafter, the loan amount was electronically deposited into such resident’s bank account.  To date, such resident has made payments from this state to Great Plains totaling in excess of $2,278.
12.All Agreements were electronically signed via the Internet by Connecticut residents while physically present in this state.  At no time did Connecticut residents leave the physical boundaries of this state or enter the physical boundaries of the Reservation to receive a Consumer Loan.
13.From at least July 2014 to the present, Clear Creek offered, via its website at clearcreeklending.com, unsecured small loans in amounts of $1,500 to $2,500 with annual interest rates of 390% to 420%.  In particular, Clear Creek’s website solicited consumers, including Connecticut residents via a drop-down list of states, to “Apply Now”.
14.
At no time relevant hereto were Respondents licensed as small loan lenders in Connecticut, nor are Respondents exempt from such licensure requirements.


III.  STATUTORY BASIS FOR ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST,
ORDER TO MAKE RESTITUTION AND IMPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTY

Section 36a-555 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

No person shall (1) engage in the business of making loans of money or credit; (2) make, offer, broker or assist a borrower in Connecticut to obtain such a loan; . . . through any method, including, but not limited to, mail, telephone, Internet or any electronic means, in the amount or to the value of fifteen thousand dollars or less for loans made under section 36a-563 or section 36a-565, and charge, contract for or receive a greater rate of interest, charge or consideration than twelve per cent per annum therefor, unless licensed to do so by the commissioner pursuant to sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive. . . .

Section 36a-573 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides, in pertinent part, that:

(a)  No person, except as authorized by the provisions of sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, shall, directly or indirectly, charge, contract for or receive any interest, charge or consideration greater than twelve per cent per annum upon the loan, use or forbearance of money or credit of the amount or value of . . . (2) fifteen thousand dollars or less for any such transaction entered into on and after October 1, 1997. . . . No loan for which a greater rate of interest or charge than is allowed by the provisions of sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, has been contracted for or received, wherever made, shall be enforced in this state, and any person in any way participating therein in this state shall be subject to the provisions of said sections . . . .

(b)  The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall apply to any loan made or renewed in this state if the loan is made to a borrower who resides in or maintains a domicile in this state and such borrower (1) negotiates or agrees to the terms of the loan in person, by mail, by telephone or via the Internet while physically present in this state; (2) enters into or executes a loan agreement with the lender in person, by mail, by telephone or via the Internet while physically present in this state; or (3) makes a payment of the loan in this state.  As used in this subsection, “payment of the loan” includes a debit on an account the borrower holds in a branch of a financial institution or the use of a negotiable instrument drawn on an account at a financial institution, and “financial institution” means any bank or credit union chartered or licensed under the laws of this state, any other state or the United States and having its main office or a branch office in this state.

(c)  Whenever it appears to the commissioner that any person has violated the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or offered a loan that violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner may investigate, take administrative action or assess civil penalties and restitution in accordance with the provisions of sections 36a-50 and 36a-52.

1.
Great Plains’ engaging in the business of making loans of money or credit without obtaining the required license, as more fully described in paragraphs 1, 3 through 12, inclusive, and 14 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-555(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Great Plains pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution against Great Plains pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty upon Great Plains pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
2.
Shotton’s participating in Great Plains’ violation of Section 36a-555(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as more fully described in paragraphs 3, 5 through 12, inclusive, and 14 of the Matters Asserted, which pursuant to Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, subjects Shotton to the provisions of said section.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Shotton pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty upon Shotton pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
3.
Great Plains’ making, offering or assisting Connecticut borrowers to obtain Consumer Loans in Connecticut, as more fully described in paragraphs 1, 3 through 12, inclusive, and 14 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least three violations of Section 36a-555(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Great Plains pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution against Great Plains pursuant to Section 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty upon Great Plains pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
4.
Shotton’s participating in Great Plains’ violation of Section 36a-555(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as more fully described in paragraphs 3, 5 through 12, inclusive, and 14 of the Matters Asserted, which pursuant to Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, subjects Shotton to the provisions of said section.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Shotton pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty upon Shotton pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
5.Great Plains’ charging, contracting for and receiving interest at a rate greater than 12% on at least three Consumer Loans to Connecticut residents in amounts less than $15,000, as more fully described in paragraphs 9 through 12, inclusive, and 14 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least three violations of Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Great Plains pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution against Great Plains pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty upon Great Plains pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
6.Shotton’s participating in Great Plains’ violation of Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as more fully described in paragraphs 3, 5, 6, 8 through 12, inclusive, and 14 of the Matters Asserted, which pursuant to Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, subjects Shotton to the provisions of said section.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Shotton pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty upon Shotton pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.
7.Clear Creek’s offering or assisting Connecticut borrowers to obtain small loans in Connecticut, as more fully described in paragraphs 2, 13 and 14 of the Matters Asserted, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-555(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Such violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Clear Creek pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty upon Clear Creek pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes authorizes the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation.


IV.  FINDING AND STATUTORY BASIS FOR
TEMPORARY ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST

The Commissioner finds that the public welfare requires immediate action to issue a temporary order requiring Great Plains to cease and desist from violating subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-555 and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Shotton to cease and desist from participating in said violations, and Clear Creek to cease and desist from violating Section 36a-555(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Further, Respondents shall take such action as set forth herein to effectuate the purposes of Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in that the interests of Connecticut residents are being materially prejudiced by:  (1) Great Plains’ continuing to offer and make loans in amounts less than $15,000 with annual interest rates greater than 12%, and receive interest in excess of 12% on such loans, while not being duly licensed as a small loan lender in Connecticut and complying with the restrictions imposed on such licensees pursuant to Sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes; (2) Shotton’s participation in such activity; and (3) Clear Creek’s continuing to offer loans in amounts less than $15,000 with annual interest rates greater than 12%, while not being duly licensed as a small loan lender in Connecticut and complying with the restrictions imposed on such licensees pursuant to Sections 36a-555 to 36a-573, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes.


V.  TEMPORARY ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST, 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

WHEREAS, the Commissioner has reason to believe that Great Plains has engaged in acts or conduct which forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issue an order to make restitution pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner has reason to believe that Shotton has engaged in acts or conduct which forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner has reason to believe that Clear Creek has engaged in acts or conduct which forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a civil penalty pursuant to Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
AND WHEREAS, the Commissioner has made the finding required under Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes.

THE COMMISSIONER THEREFORE ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that Great Plains Lending, LLC immediately CEASE AND DESIST from violating subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-555 and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, including but not limited to, enforcing Consumer Loans by any means.  This Temporary Order to Cease and Desist shall become effective upon receipt by Great Plains Lending, LLC, and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.

THE COMMISSIONER FURTHER ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that John R. Shotton immediately CEASE AND DESIST from participating in violations of subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-555 and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, including but not limited to, enforcing Consumer Loans by any means.  This Temporary Order to Cease and Desist shall become effective upon receipt by John R. Shotton and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.

THE COMMISSIONER FURTHER ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that Clear Creek Lending immediately CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-555(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  This Temporary Order to Cease and Desist shall become effective upon receipt by Clear Creek Lending and, unless set aside or modified by a court, shall remain in effect until the effective date of a permanent order or dismissal of the matters asserted in this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.

THE COMMISSIONER FURTHER ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, and Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that:  Not later than fourteen (14) days from receipt of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, 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, Great Plains Lending, LLC and John R. Shotton, shall provide to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, a list of all Connecticut residents who, on or after October 1, 2009, have:  (1) applied for a Consumer Loan from Great Plains Lending, LLC; or (2) contracted with Great Plains Lending, LLC to pay interest at a rate in excess of 12% on a Consumer Loan.  For each Consumer Loan consummated by a Connecticut resident, such submission shall include:  (a) a copy of each loan agreement specifying the amount and annual interest rate of the loan, and (b) a list of each Connecticut resident’s name and address and full itemization of payments made pursuant to the loan agreement, specifying the dates and amounts of such payments.

THE COMMISSIONER FURTHER ORDERS, pursuant to Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, and Section 36a-52(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that:  Not later than fourteen (14) days from receipt of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, 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, Clear Creek Lending shall provide to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, a list of all Connecticut residents who, on or after October 1, 2009, have:  (1) applied for a small loan from Clear Creek Lending; or (2) contracted with Clear Creek Lending to pay interest at a rate in excess of 12% on a small loan.  For each small loan consummated by a Connecticut resident, such submission shall include:  (a) a copy of each loan agreement specifying the amount and annual interest rate of the loan, and (b) a list of each Connecticut resident’s name and address and full itemization of payments made pursuant to the loan agreement, specifying the dates and amounts of such payments.

THE COMMISSIONER FURTHER ORDERS, pursuant to Sections 36a-573(c) and 36a-50(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, that Great Plains Lending, LLC MAKE RESTITUTION of any sums obtained as a result of Great Plains Lending, LLC violating subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-555 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes plus interest at the legal rate set forth in Section 37-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Specifically, the Commissioner ORDERS that:  Not later than thirty (30) days from the date this Order to Make Restitution becomes permanent, Great Plains Lending, LLC shall:

1.
Repay any interest received by Great Plains Lending, LLC on or after October 1, 2009, from the Connecticut residents identified in Exhibit A or any other Connecticut resident in connection with a Consumer Loan, plus interest.  Payments shall be made by cashier’s check, certified check or money order; and
2.
Provide to Carmine Costa, Director, Consumer Credit Division, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800, or carmine.costa@ct.gov, evidence of such repayments.

NOW THEREFORE, notice is hereby given to Great Plains that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Great Plains to CEASE AND DESIST from violating subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-555 and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, including, but not limited to, enforcing such loans by any means, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Great Plains as set forth herein, subject to Great Plains’ right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.

FURTHER, notice is hereby given to Shotton that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Shotton to CEASE AND DESIST from participating in the violation of subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-555, and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Shotton as set forth herein, subject to Shotton’s right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.

FURTHER, notice is hereby given to Clear Creek that the Commissioner intends to issue an order requiring Clear Creek to CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-555(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes and impose a CIVIL PENALTY upon Clear Creek as set forth herein, subject to Clear Creek’s right to a hearing on the allegations set forth above.

A hearing will be granted to each Respondent if a written request for a hearing is received by the Department of Banking, Consumer Credit Division, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103-1800 within fourteen (14) days following each Respondent’s receipt of this Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, 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 as set forth in Sections 36a-50(a) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  This Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, 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 shall be deemed received on the earlier of the date of actual receipt, or seven days after mailing or sending.  The enclosed Appearance and Request for Hearing Form must be completed and mailed to the above address.  If any Respondent will not be represented by an attorney at the hearing, please complete the Appearance and Request for Hearing Form as “pro se”.  Once a written request for a hearing is received, the Commissioner may issue a notification of hearing and designation of hearing officer that acknowledges receipt of a request for a hearing, designates a hearing officer and sets the date of the hearing in accordance with Section 4-177 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-1-21 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.  If a hearing is requested, the hearing will be held on December 18, 2014, at 10 a.m., at the Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut.

The hearing will be held in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 54 of the Connecticut General Statutes, unless any Respondent fails to appear at the requested hearing.  At such hearing, Respondents will have the right to appear and present evidence, rebuttal evidence and argument on all issues of fact and law to be considered by the Commissioner.
 
If Great Plains does not request a hearing within the time prescribed or fails to appear at any hearing, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent, and the Commissioner will issue an order that Great Plains cease and desist from violating subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-555 and Section 36a-573(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, including but not limited to, enforcing such loans by any means, and may order a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) per violation be imposed upon Great Plains.

If Shotton does not request a hearing within the time prescribed or fails to appear at any hearing, the Commissioner will issue an order that Shotton cease and desist from participating in the violation of subdivisions (1) and (2) of Section 36a-555, and Section 36a-573(a) 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 Shotton.

If Clear Creek does not request a hearing within the time prescribed or fails to appear at any hearing, the Commissioner will issue an order that Clear Creek cease and desist from violating Section 36a-555(2) 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 Clear Creek.


So ordered at Hartford, Connecticut
this 24th day of October 2014.                   ________/s/_________
                                                               Howard F. Pitkin
                                                               Banking Commissioner

 

CERTIFICATION

I hereby certify that on this 24th day of October 2014, the foregoing Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, 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 was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to John R. Shotton, 8151 Highway 177, Red Rock, Oklahoma 74651, certified mail no. 70120470000147896794; Great Plains Lending, LLC, 8151 Highway 177, Red Rock, Oklahoma 74651, certified mail no. 70120470000147896800; Great Plains Lending, LLC, 1050 East 2nd Street, Box 500, Edmond, Oklahoma 73034, certified mail no. 70121010000172646981; Great Plains Lending, LLC, P.O. Box 42906, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101, certified mail no. 70121010000172646998; Clear Creek Lending, 3910 W 6th Avenue, Box 242, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074, certified mail no. 70120470000147896817; and to Saba Bazzazieh, Esq., Rosette, LLP, 565 West Chandler Boulevard, Suite 212, Chandler, Arizona 85225, certified mail no. 70121010000172647001.

                                                              ________/s/_________
                                                              Stacey L. Serrano
                                                              Prosecuting Attorney


Administrative Orders and Settlements