February 1, 2013

Maine agencies secure $4.2M in penalties, restitution, claims

By Kelley Bouchard kbouchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

GARDINER — The Office of Securities ordered nearly $1.2 million in penalties and restitution in 2012 on behalf of investors harmed by violations of securities laws, the Maine Department of Professional & Financial Regulation announced this week.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Insurance helped to recover more than $3 million in disputed claims for Maine insurance consumers in 2012, according to news releases from the department.

The Office of Securities, which oversees 2,281 licensed firms and 96,653 individual brokers and financial advisers, assessed nearly $862,000 in monetary penalties and nearly $320,000 in restitution last year.

Securities Administrator Judith Shaw helped to convict a former New Hampshire stockbroker, James Philbrook, on charges that he took $195,000 from an Aroostook County couple for a fictitious investment and used the money for personal purposes.

The office also led a multistate investigation of unlicensed brokerage activity by Bankers Life and Casualty Co., leading to an $11.6 million settlement for participating states.

In the Bureau of Insurance, nearly $2.2 million in disputed claims was recovered by the bureau’s Consumer Health Care Division, and nearly $950,000 was recovered by the Property and Casualty Division.

The bureau fielded nearly 9,000 inquiries and more than 900 complaints last year, according to Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa.

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