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The Department of Banking News Bulletin 

Bulletin # 3094 - Week Ending June 9, 2023

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.

  
CONSUMER CREDIT ACTIVITY

Notice of Automatic Suspension, Notice of Intent to Revoke and Refuse to Renew Consumer Collection Agency License

On May 31, 2023, the Commissioner issued a Notice of Automatic Suspension, Notice of Intent to Revoke and Refuse to Renew Consumer Collection Agency License and Notice of Right to Hearing (“Notice”) in the Matter of: Account Control Systems, Inc., (NMLS # 1539628) (“Respondent”), Montvale, New Jersey. The Notice states that Respondent’s failure to maintain a surety bond that runs concurrently with the period of its consumer collection agency license for its main office located at 155 Chestnut Ridge Rd. Ste LL108, Montvale, New Jersey, constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to deny an application for such license under Section 36a-802(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and constitutes sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to revoke and refuse to renew Respondent’s license to act as a consumer collection agency in Connecticut from its main office pursuant to Section 36a 804(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes and subsections (a) and (b) of Section 36a-51 of the Connecticut General Statutes. As a result of not maintaining a surety bond, the Notice provides that Respondent’s consumer collection agency license in Connecticut was automatically suspended effective March 11, 2023. Respondent was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing with regard to the allegation set forth in the Notice.

Consent Order

On June 5, 2023, the Commissioner entered into a Consent Order with FM Home Loans, LLC d/b/a MR Capital Group (NMLS # 2212) (“FM Home”), Brooklyn, New York. The Consent Order was based on an investigation by the Consumer Credit Division. As a result of such investigation, the Commissioner alleged that FM Home i) acted as a mortgage servicer while neither licensed nor exempt from mortgage servicer licensure, from third quarter of 2019 through the second quarter of 2022, in violation of Section 36a-718 of the Connecticut General Statutes and ii) failed to list any of the mortgage servicing business activities on the MU1 Form on NMLS. To resolve the matter alleged, FM Home provided the supplemental mortgage servicer surety bond, fidelity bond and errors and omissions coverage required pursuant to Section 36a-719c of the Connecticut General Statutes, added mortgage servicing as a business activity to its MU1 Form and paid a civil penalty of $10,000.

Consent Order

On May 31, 2023, the Commissioner entered into a Consent Order with QuoteWizard.com, LLC (“QuoteWizard”), Seattle, Washington. The Consent Order was based on an investigation by the Consumer Credit Division. As a result of such investigation, the Commissioner alleged that between September 2020 and May 2022, QuoteWizard conducted certain activities in Connecticut that constituted unlicensed lead generation activities, in violation of Section 36a-486 of the Connecticut General Statutes. As part of the Consent Order, QuoteWizard paid $10,000 as a civil penalty and $600 as back licensing fees.

SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY 

Greenfield Financial Services, LLC (CRD No. 166095)

On June 6, 2023, the Banking Commissioner entered a Consent Order (No. CO-23-202122-S) with respect to Greenfield Financial Services, LLC, a Connecticut-registered investment adviser located at 335 Shore Drive, Coventry, Connecticut 06238. The Consent Order alleged that, in conjunction with an agency examination and investigation of the firm, the firm violated Section 36b-23 of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act by making a false or misleading statement to the Commissioner concerning the extent of trading in a specific stock and also violated Section 36b-14(d) of the Act by failing to provide the Commissioner with all of the requested copies of client monthly brokerage account statements. The Consent Order fined the firm $10,000 and directed that it refrain from regulatory violations.

Clipper Capital Group LLC, T&T Capital Partners LLC and Steven Alan Tavares 
(CRD No. 3102434)

On June 7, 2023, the Banking Commissioner entered a Consent Order (No. CO-22- 202022-S) with respect to Clipper Capital Group LLC of 6 Williams Street, Mystic, Connecticut 06355, T&T Capital Partners LLC of 735 Broad Street Extension, Waterford, Connecticut 06385, and Steven Alan Tavares, managing member and control person of Clipper Capital Group LLC and managing partner of T&T Capital Partners LLC.  Clipper Capital Group LLC was first formed for the purpose of buying, refurbishing and selling properties, and later transitioned into a lending business. T&T Capital Partners LLC was in the business of commercial lending, and Tavares was involved in “flipping” real estate and engaging in commercial lending.

The Consent Order followed a May 2, 2023 Amended and Restated Order to Cease and Desist, Amended and Restated Order to Make Restitution, Amended and Restated Notice of Intent to Fine and Amended and Restated Notice of Right to Hearing (No. CRF-22-202022-S) against the Respondents. The May 2, 2023 action had alleged that Respondents violated Section 36b-16 of the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act by selling unregistered securities in the form of promissory notes to investors in Connecticut and Florida. In addition, the action had alleged that the Respondents violated the antifraud provisions in Section 36b-4(a) of the Act by, among other things, 1) failing to disclose that the terms of the promissory notes could be unilaterally extended by Respondents without the affected investor's approval or consent; and 2) participating in a course of conduct resulting in the affected investors receiving inflated and misleading account statements concerning the value of the securities. The action also alleged that Tavares violated Section 36b-23 of the Act by making materially misleading statements or omissions to the agency in connection with a Division investigation.

The June 7, 2023 Consent Order resolved the allegations in the May 2, 2023 action without the need for an administrative hearing. Acknowledging that Respondent Tavares had paid $192,766 in restitution to the affected promissory note investors, the Consent Order fined Respondents $10,000 and directed them to cease and desist from regulatory violations.

 

      Dated:  Tuesday, June 13, 2023

      Jorge L. Perez
      Banking Commissioner