Connecticut Attorney General's Office
Attorney General, Banking Dept. Sue To Recover $100,000 Fine For Falsified Loan Application
September 17, 2010
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today initiated a lawsuit in Superior Court to recover a $100,000 fine against a former loan officer who is now head of an independent power seller in Connecticut.
Blumenthal is suing on behalf of state Banking Commissioner Howard F. Pitkin whose agency imposed a $100,000 fine against Joseph E. Ventura more than two years ago for submitting false information on a loan application when he worked as a loan officer.
The state was unable to recover the fine at the time because Ventura’s only asset available was a used car, making such recovery essentially impossible.
Blumenthal and Pitkin recently learned that Ventura is now the CEO of an independent power seller, Positive Energy Electricity Supply, LLC, an electricity aggregator that buys power from suppliers and resells it at a discount to consumers.
In light of Ventura’s potential for new assets as CEO of Positive Energy, Blumenthal’s lawsuit seeks to recover the $100,000, as well as new penalties for failure to pay the fine since it was imposed on Aug. 1, 2008.
“This fraudulent former loan officer -- now turned power seller CEO -- should finally have the means to pay for his financial wrongdoing,” Blumenthal said. “We are seeking to recover $100,000 overdue for financial fraud -- the kinds of pernicious practices that have harmed mortgage consumers and our entire economy. Two years after Banking imposed a $100,000 fine, Ventura has reached the ranks of CEO for a power seller, potentially providing new assets to pursue.”
Blumenthal has an outstanding request to the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) to investigate new claims against Ventura that he allegedly delayed processing customer requests to switch electricity suppliers in order to divert them to another company. If true, as many as 30,000 to 40,000 consumers could have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in discounts.
Blumenthal also asked the DPUC to investigate whether Ventura failed to disclose during Positive Energy’s state application process that he owned a $100,000 fine to the Banking Department. The DPUC has so far not responded to Blumenthal’s request.