DOB: S&S Health Group LLC - CD-CP

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IN THE MATTER OF:

S&S HEALTH GROUP LLC
d/b/a FINANCIAL LINK
("Financial Link")

SEAN P. MILLER
("Miller")

STEPHEN E. DE NAVEA
("De Navea")

    (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, as amended by Public Acts 14-7 and 14-89, 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 24, 2014, the Commissioner, acting pursuant to Sections 36a-56a(b), 36a-50(c), 36a-671a(b), 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, issued an 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 25, 2014, the Order and Notice was sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Financial Link (Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646905); to Financial Link’s registered agent (Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646936); to Miller (Certified Mail Nos. 70121010000172646912 and 70120470000147902167); and to De Navea (Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646929);
 
WHEREAS, the Order and Notice provided Financial Link with the opportunity for a hearing, and stated that if a hearing was not requested within 14 days of its receipt, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against Financial Link and the Commissioner would issue an order that Financial Link cease and desist from violating Section 36a-56a(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and may order a civil penalty in an amount as set forth therein;
 
WHEREAS, the Order and Notice provided Miller with the opportunity for a hearing, and stated that if a hearing was not requested within 14 days of its receipt, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against Miller and the Commissioner would issue an order that Miller 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 Miller;

WHEREAS, the Order and Notice provided De Navea with the opportunity for a hearing, and stated that if a hearing was not requested within 14 days of its receipt, the Order to Make Restitution shall remain in effect and become permanent against De Navea and the Commissioner would issue an order that De Navea 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 De Navea;
 
WHEREAS, on July 8, 2014, the Order and Notice sent to Financial Link by Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646905, and sent to De Navea by Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646929, were returned to the Department marked “Refused” and “Return to Sender – Not Deliverable as Addressed – Unable to Forward”;

WHEREAS, also on July 8, 2014, the Order and Notice sent to Miller by Certified Mail No. 70120470000147902167, and Financial Link’s registered agent by Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646936, were returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Attempted – Not Known – Unable to Forward”;

WHEREAS, on July 14, 2014, the Order and Notice sent to Miller by Certified Mail No. 70121010000172646912, was returned to the Department marked “Return to Sender – Attempted – Not Known – Unable to Forward”;

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 Financial Link’s offering debt negotiation services by a direct mailer to Connecticut residents that had the capacity or tendency to mislead Connecticut consumers as to Financial Link’s affiliation, connection or association with a bank constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-56a(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Each violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against pursuant to Sections 36a-56a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-56a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner also alleged in the Order and Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that Financial Link’s offering to engage in debt negotiation in this state without the required license constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011.  Each 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 and to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
 
WHEREAS, the Commissioner also alleged in the Order and Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that Financial Link’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without the required license, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011.  Each 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 to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner also alleged in the Order and Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that Miller’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without the required license, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011.  Each 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 to impose a civil penalty pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;

WHEREAS, the Commissioner also alleged in the Order and Notice, with respect to the activity described therein, that De Navea’s engaging in debt negotiation in this state without the required license, constitutes at least one violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes in effect prior to October 1, 2011.  Each 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 to 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, Respondents repay identified Connecticut residents and repay any other Connecticut resident who entered into an agreement for debt negotiation services with Respondents on and after October 1, 2009, any fees paid by such residents to Respondents plus interest, and provide evidence of such repayments to the Director of the Consumer Credit Division;  
 
WHEREAS, the Order to Make Restitution remains in effect and became permanent against Respondents on July 17, 2014;

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 7, inclusive, of Section II of the Order and Notice, shall constitute findings of fact within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the 2014 Supplement to the General Statutes, and that the conclusions, as set forth in paragraphs 1 through 5, inclusive, of Section III of the Order and Notice, shall constitute conclusions of law within the meaning of Section 4-180(c) of the 2014 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-1-52 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
2.
The Commissioner finds that Financial Link has engaged in acts or conduct which, pursuant to Sections 36a-56a(b), 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist against Financial Link, and, pursuant to Sections 36a-56a(b), 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, impose a civil penalty upon Financial Link.
3.
The Commissioner finds that Miller has 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 Miller, and, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes impose a civil penalty upon Miller.
4.The Commissioner finds that De Navea has 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 De Navea, and, pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, impose a civil penalty upon De Navea.
5.
The Commissioner finds that the Order and Notice was 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-56a(b), 36a-671a(b), 36a-52(a) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes that:

1.
S&S Health Group LLC d/b/a Financial Link CEASE AND DESIST from violating Sections 36a-56a(a) and 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
2.
Sean P. Miller CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
3.Stephen E. De Navea CEASE AND DESIST from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
4.A CIVIL PENALTY of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000) be imposed upon S&S Health Group LLC d/b/a Financial Link, 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.A CIVIL PENALTY of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) be imposed upon Sean P. Miller, 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;
6.A CIVIL PENALTY of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) be imposed upon Stephen E. De Navea, 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;
7.
This Order shall become effective when mailed.

Dated at Hartford, Connecticut
this 30th day of October 2014.             

 ________/s/_________
 Howard F. Pitkin
 Banking Commissioner

This Order was sent by certified mail,
return receipt requested, to Respondents
on October 30, 2014.


S&S Health Group LLC                                    Certified Mail No. 70120470000147897258
d/b/a Financial Link
123 North Congress Avenue, Suite 391
Boynton Beach, Florida 33426

Sean P. Miller, Registered Agent for                 Certified Mail No. 70120470000147897289
S&S Health Group LLC
13660 Jog Road, Suite 4
Delray Beach, Florida 33446

Sean P. Miller                                                Certified Mail No. 70120470000147897296
123 North Congress Avenue, Suite 391
Boynton Beach, Florida 33426

Sean P. Miller                                                Certified Mail No. 70120470000147897302
Financial Link
706 W. Boynton Beach Boulevard #111
Boynton Beach, Florida 33426

Stephen E. De Navea                                     Certified Mail No. 70120470000147897319
123 North Congress Avenue, Suite 391
Boynton Beach, Florida 33426


 


Administrative Orders and Settlements