Maine Government News
Maine’s Office of Securities Assists Businesses and Investors in 2012, Ordering Nearly $1.2 Million in Restitution to Investors and Penalties on Those Violating Securities Laws
January 30, 2013
Professional & Financial Regulation - Securities
Agency Also Led Multi-State Investigation Resulting in $11.6 Million Settlement
Maine Securities Administrator Judith Shaw announced this week that during 2012 the Office of Securities ordered a combined total of nearly $1.2 million in restitution and penalties—restitution to Maine investors harmed by violations of securities laws and penalties assessed on those committing violations.
The Office also obtained the criminal conviction of a New Hampshire stockbroker who took $195,000 from an Aroostook County couple for a fictitious investment and used the funds for personal purposes. Additionally, the Office led a multistate investigation of unlicensed brokerage activity by insurance company Bankers Life, leading to an $11.6 million settlement for the states participating in the investigation.
“Maine’s Office of Securities protects investors while also seeking to create a stable environment for investment firms to successfully operate in the State,” Administrator Shaw commented. “Although most securities professionals licensed in Maine are reputable and knowledgeable, there will always be exceptions—and the Office takes very seriously its responsibility to act on behalf of investors who are the victim of investment scams and other violations or securities law.”
Specifically, the Office assessed monetary penalties of nearly $862,000 and ordered nearly $320,000 in restitution during 2012. Overall, there were 2,281 firms (broker-dealer and investment adviser) licensed with the Office during 2012, as well as 96,653 individuals (agents of broker-dealers, and investment adviser representatives). Additionally, the Office processed 27,754 securities registration and private placement filings.
Shaw also noted that Maine was one of few states to successfully facilitate the switch of 16 state- based investment advisers from federal regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to state regulation within the timeframe mandated by the SEC. The switch was required by a change in federal law. This successful transfer of regulatory authority eliminated any chance that Maine’s investment advisor firms and their clients would experience a disruption in their business and the services provided.
Shaw encouraged both investors with questions or concerns, as well as individuals interested in establishing a securities firm in Maine, to contact the Office of Securities for information and assistance. The Office can be reached toll-free at 1-877-624-8551. Information is also available at www.maine.gov/securities.