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OFFICE OF SECURITIES
121 STATE HOUSE STATION
AUGUSTA, ME 04333
ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST
AND IMPOSING A CIVIL PENALTY
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Pursuant to 32 M.R.S.A. §§ 10602 and 10708, the Securities Administrator finds and orders as follows:
Ronald M. Nickerson (“Nickerson”) is an individual with
a permanent residence address of
In December 2001, Nickerson offered an investment
opportunity to a resident of
Based on Nickerson’s representations, and from
approximately December 2001 through March 2002, the
In exchange for one of the five checks, in the amount
of $3,000, Nickerson gave the
5. On the bottom of the December 1 promissory note, Nickerson made a handwritten note indicating that, on December 5, 2001, the Portland resident had given him an additional $1,300 “to generate additional income to be split 50/50” between Nickerson and the Portland resident.
In exchange for another one of the checks, in the
amount of $1,700, Nickerson gave the
7. Despite requests from the Portland resident, Nickerson did not provide promissory notes or any other writing in connection with the Portland resident’s other two checks, for $2,500 each, both of which Nickerson received in March 2002.
Nickerson has not made any payments on the promissory
notes and has not otherwise returned any funds to the
9. On August 4, 2004, the Office of Securities sent Nickerson a subpoena for documents and a letter requesting that he provide a written statement regarding the allegations. The requested documents and written statement were due on August 18, 2004. Despite repeated promises from Nickerson, he has provided neither a written statement nor any documents.
10. The investments offered and sold by Nickerson, whether reflected in a writing or otherwise, are securities under section 10501(18) of the Revised Maine Securities Act, 32 M.R.S.A. §§ 10101-10713 (“the Act”).
Pursuant to section 10401 of the Act, a person may not
offer and sell any security in
The securities that Nickerson offered and sold to the
Pursuant to section 10301 of the Act, a person may not
transact business in
Nickerson was not licensed in
15. Pursuant to section 10601(3) of the Act, “[i]t is unlawful to fail to provide promptly any written statement if requested” by the administrator.
16. By failing to provide the written statement requested by the administrator, Nickerson violated section 10601(3) of the Act.
17. Pursuant to section 10602(1) of the Act, the administrator may issue a cease and desist order if she reasonably believes that any person has engaged, is engaging or is about to engage in any act or practice constituting a violation of any provision of the Act.
18. Pursuant to section 10602(1) of the Act, the administrator may issue an order imposing a civil penalty that may not exceed $1,500 for a single violation if she reasonably believes that any person has engaged, is engaging or is about to engage in any act or practice constituting a violation of any provision of the Act.
19. Each of the five investment checks solicited and received by Nickerson may constitute a separate violation for purposes of determining the total civil penalty to be imposed on Nickerson. In addition, Nickerson’s failure to provide a written statement to the Office constitutes an additional violation for which a civil penalty may be imposed. The Securities Administrator may thus impose a civil penalty of $9,000 against Nickerson.
20. On October 22, 2004, the Securities Administrator issued a Notice of Intent to Issue a Cease and Desist Order and Impose a Civil Penalty ("Notice") against Nickerson, giving him thirty (30) days to request a hearing on the matter. He has not requested a hearing or otherwise responded to the Notice.
21. In accordance with 5 M.R.S.A. § 9053(3), and Section 19(1) of Office of Securities Rule Chapter 540, the Securities Administrator may dispose of this proceeding by default.
NOW, THEREFORE, it is ORDERED that Nickerson permanently CEASE AND DESIST from violating any provisions of the Revised Maine Securities Act, including the prohibitions against offering and selling securities that are neither registered nor exempt from registration under the Act, and against transacting business in Maine as a sales representative unless licensed or exempt from licensing under the Act.
It is further ORDERED that Nickerson shall pay a civil penalty of $9,000 to the Securities Administrator.
Pursuant to 32 M.R.S.A. § 10708, this is a final order, entered after notice and opportunity for hearing. Pursuant to 32 M.R.S.A. § 10709, a party may obtain judicial review of the order in Kennebec County Superior Court by filing a petition within thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the order, in accordance with 5 M.R.S.A. § 11001 et seq. and Rule 80C of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
Date: December 3, 2004 s/Christine A. Bruenn
Christine A. Bruenn
Date: November 29, 2004 s/Bonnie E. Russell
Bonnie E. Russell
Assistant Securities Administrator
Date: November 29, 2004 s/Michael W. Atleson
Michael W. Atleson