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IN THE MATTER OF:
THE ACOCELLA LAW GROUP, P.C.
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, Acocella Law Group is a New York professional corporation with an office located at 20 Crossways Park Drive North, Suite 210, Woodbury, New York;
WHEREAS, the Commissioner, through the Consumer Credit Division of the Department of Banking, conducted an investigation, pursuant to Section 36a-17(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Acts 14-7 and 14-89, into the activities of Acocella Law Group to determine if it had violated, was violating or was about to violate the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;
WHEREAS, as a result of such investigation, the Commissioner alleges that Acocella Law Group engaged and offered to engage in debt negotiation in this state without the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
WHEREAS, the Commissioner believes that such allegation would support initiation of enforcement proceedings against Acocella Law Group, including proceedings to issue a cease and desist order against Acocella Law Group pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and impose a civil penalty on Acocella Law Group pursuant to Sections 36a-671a(b) and 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes;
WHEREAS, initiation of such enforcement proceedings would constitute a “contested case” within the meaning of Section 4-166(4) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 14-187;
WHEREAS, Section 4-177(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 36a-1-55(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies provide that a contested case may be resolved by consent order, unless precluded by law;
WHEREAS, both the Commissioner and Acocella Law Group acknowledge the possible consequences of formal administrative proceedings, and Acocella Law Group voluntarily agrees to consent to the entry of the sanctions described below without admitting or denying any allegation contained herein and solely for the purpose of obviating the need for formal administrative proceedings concerning the allegation contained herein;
WHEREAS, the Commissioner and Acocella Law Group now desire to resolve the allegation set forth herein;
WHEREAS, Acocella Law Group herein represents that as of April 7, 2014, Acocella Law Group ceased and desisted from engaging or offering to engage in debt negotiation in this state with any new Connecticut residents;
WHEREAS, by letter dated April 7, 2014, Acocella Law Group provided a list of Connecticut residents and herein represents that the Connecticut residents listed in such letter represents all of the Connecticut residents who had engaged the services of Acocella Law Group and the total fees that such Connecticut residents paid to Acocella Law Group, which fees were refunded to such residents;
WHEREAS, Acocella Law Group herein represents to the Commissioner that it is not currently aware of any additional Connecticut residents who had retained Acocella Law Group for debt negotiation services from October 1, 2009, through the date that Acocella Law Group executes this Consent Order;
AND WHEREAS, Acocella Law Group, through its execution of this Consent Order, voluntarily agrees to waive its procedural rights, including a right to notice and an opportunity for hearing as it pertains to the allegation set forth herein, and voluntarily waives its right to seek judicial review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Consent Order.
CONSENT TO ENTRY OF SANCTIONS
WHEREAS, Acocella Law Group, through its execution of this Consent Order, consents to the Commissioner’s entry of a Consent Order imposing the following sanctions:
|1.||Acocella Law Group shall immediately cease and desist from violating Section 36a-671(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes; and|
|2.||No later than the date this Consent Order is executed by Acocella Law Group, Acocella Law Group shall remit to the Department of Banking by cashier’s check, certified check or money order, made payable to “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”, the sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) as a civil penalty.|
NOW THEREFORE, the Commissioner enters the following:
|1.||The sanctions set forth above be and are hereby entered;|
|2.||Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner, this matter will be resolved and the Commissioner will not take any future enforcement action against Acocella Law Group based upon the allegation set forth herein; provided that issuance of this Consent Order is without prejudice to the right of the Commissioner to take enforcement action against Acocella Law Group based upon a violation of this Consent Order or the matters underlying its entry, if the Commissioner determines that compliance with the terms herein is not being observed or if any representation made by Acocella Law Group and reflected herein is subsequently discovered to be untrue;|
|3.||Upon issuance of this Consent Order by the Commissioner and so long as Acocella Law Group complies with the terms of this Consent Order, nothing in the issuance of this Consent Order shall adversely affect the ability of Acocella Law Group to apply for or obtain license or renewal licenses under Sections 36a-671 to 36a-671e, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes contained in Part II of Chapter 669 of the Connecticut General Statutes; and|
|4.||This Consent Order shall become final when issued.|
Issued at Hartford, Connecticut
this 27th day of August 2014. _______/s/_________
Howard F. Pitkin
I, Frank A. Acocella, state on behalf of The Acocella Law Group, P.C., that I have read the foregoing Consent Order; that I know and fully understand its contents; that I am authorized to execute this Consent Order on behalf of The Acocella Law Group, P.C.; that The Acocella Law Group, P.C., agrees freely and without threat or coercion of any kind to comply with the provisions of this Consent Order; and that The Acocella Law Group, P.C., voluntarily agrees to enter into this Consent Order, expressly waiving the procedural rights set forth herein as to the matters described herein.
Name: Frank A. Acocella, Esq.
The Acocella Law Group, P.C.
State of: New York
County of: Nassau
On this the 20th day of Aug 2014, before me, Steven Cera, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Frank A. Acocella who acknowledged himself/herself to be the President of The Acocella Law Group, P.C., a professional corporation, and that he/she as such President, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the professional corporation by himself as President.
In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand.
Date Commission Expires: 6/20/17