The Department of Banking News Bulletin
Bulletin # 2912 - Week Ending December 13, 2019
This bulletin constitutes the only official notification you will receive from this office concerning any of the following applications. Any observations you may have are solicited. Any comments should be in writing to Jorge L. Perez, Banking Commissioner, Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800. Written comments will be considered only if they are received within ten business days from the date of this bulletin.
CREDIT UNION ACTIVITY
Main Office Relocation
DATE: December 9, 2019
CREDIT UNION: America's First Network Credit Union, Trumbull
LOCATION: From: 50 Commerce Drive, Trumbull, CT 06611
To: 92 Pitkin Street, East Hartford, CT 06108
ACTIVITY: Approved to Relocate Main Office
CONSUMER CREDIT DIVISION ACTIVITY
On December 3, 2019, the Commissioner entered into a Consent Order with John Vecchitto Jr (NMLS # 1127163) (“Respondent”). The Consent Order was based on an investigation by the Consumer Credit Division. As a result of such investigation, on July 8, 2019, the Commissioner issued an Order of Summary Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke Mortgage Loan Originator License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing against Respondent. The Commissioner alleged that: (1) Respondent’s fabrication of loan file documents constitutes directly or indirectly (i) employing a scheme, device, or artifice to defraud or mislead borrowers or lenders or to defraud any person, in violation of Section 36a 498e(a)(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes, (ii) engaging in an unfair or deceptive practice, in violation of Section 36a-498e(a)(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and (iii) failing to comply with sections 36a-485 to 36a-498e, inclusive, in violation of Section 36a-498e(a)(8) of the Connecticut General Statutes; (2) Respondent’s conduct renders the Commissioner unable to continue to find that Respondent demonstrates character and general fitness so as to command the confidence of the community and to warrant a determination that Respondent will operate honestly, fairly and efficiently within the purposes of Section 36a-485 to 36a 498e, inclusive, 36a 498h, 36a-534a and 36a-534b, of the Connecticut General Statutes; (3) Respondent’s fabrication of loan file documents constitutes (i) employing a scheme, device or artifice to defraud, in violation of 36a-53b(1) of the Connecticut General Statutes, (ii) making an untrue statement of a material fact or omitting to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statement made, in light of the circumstances under which they are made, not misleading, in violation of Section 36a-53b(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and (iii) engaging in an act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon a person, in violation of Section 36a-53b(3) of the Connecticut General Statutes; and (4) Respondent’s acts and conduct constitutes knowingly making a false statement with intent to defraud and for the purpose of influencing the action of a bank upon an application, advance, commitment, loan or extension of credit, and upon which such bank relies in taking such action, in violation of Section 36a-56 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
As part of the Consent Order, Respondent has requested surrender of his mortgage loan originator license in Connecticut on the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (“NMLS”). In addition, Respondent is barred for a period of three years commencing on July 8, 2019, from acting as a mortgage loan originator in Connecticut.
SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY
Reed Francis Bermingham (CRD No. 5526970) d/b/a Bermingham Wealth Strategies Fined $100,000
On December 12, 2019, the Banking Commissioner entered an Order Imposing Fine (Docket No. CRF-19-8509-S) against Reed Francis Bermingham of West Hartford, Connecticut and Guilford, Connecticut. Prior to May 18, 2018, Respondent Bermingham was registered as a broker-dealer agent and an investment adviser agent of Commonwealth Financial Network under the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act. The Order Imposing Fine had been preceded by an October 10, 2019 Order to Cease and Desist, Order to Make Restitution, Notice of Intent to Fine and Notice of Right to Hearing (Docket No. CRF-19-8509-S) alleging that, following his departure from Commonwealth Financial Network, Respondent Bermingham advised one of his Commonwealth Financial Network clients that Respondent was opening Bermingham Wealth Strategies and that the client should sell his securities positions and open a brokerage account at TD Ameritrade with the proceeds. Respondent would then manage the securities portfolio for a fee. According to October 10, 2019 action, although the client remitted $20,400 to Respondent, the monies were not deposited into the TD Ameritrade account but were used to pay for Respondent’s personal expenses. The October 10, 2019 action further alleged that Respondent violated Section 36b-6(c)(1) of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act by transacting business as an unregistered investment adviser and that Respondent engaged in practices that violated the antifraud provisions in Section 36b-5(a) of the Act.
Since Respondent Bermingham did not request a hearing on the Order to Cease and Desist and the Order to Make Restitution, each of those orders became permanent on October 30, 2019.
Respondent Bermingham likewise did not request a hearing on the Notice of Intent to Fine, and the Order Imposing Fine was entered by default. Adopting as findings the allegations in the October 10, 2019 Notice of Intent to Fine, the Commissioner imposed a $100,000 fine against Respondent Bermingham.