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Secretary of State

Securities Division > News Archive  > 2004 Press Releases > For Immediate Release: March 5, 2004 Rokita Applauds Passage of Securities Legislation

Contact: Cam Savage

Indianapolis, IN - Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced today that legislation approved late Thursday by the Indiana General Assembly will benefit Hoosier investors by strengthening the enforcement powers of the Secretary of State> '> s office and providing resources to local prosecutors who bring charges against con artists and other violators of the Indiana Securities Act.

House Enrolled Act 1229 provides that county prosecutors may appoint attorneys from the Secretary of State's Securities Division as special deputy prosecuting attorneys. The legislation also changes the requirements for the Securities Commissioner to impose civil penalties on violators of the Indiana Securities Act.

In 2003, Secretary Rokita met with county prosecutors and deputy prosecutors around the state and was told that with dockets full of violent crimes and drug offenses, county prosecutors would welcome the assistance of the Secretary of State's office in prosecuting securities cases.

"There is an incredible burden on local prosecutors operating on tight budgets. The attorneys and investigators in the Secretary of State's office are experts in Indiana securities law. Now county prosecutors will have specific authority to appoint our attorneys to help prosecute securities violations," Rokita said.

In a provision supported by the Indiana Mortgage Brokers Association and the Indiana Mortgage Bankers Association, HEA 1229 also clarifies the definition of the term "loan broker" and brings under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State loan brokers who previously went unregulated.

"I am committed to protecting Hoosier investors. Since taking office the securities division of the Secretary of State's office has been strengthened by adding experienced attorneys and investigators to the staff and by working with county prosecutors to convict those who commit securities violations," Rokita said. "This legislation will further the ability of the Secretary of State's office to protect Hoosiers from investment fraud."

HEA 1229 also strengthens the state's ability to confront deceptive practices in the securities industry through the following measures:

  • The provision clarifies that where an alleged securities violator receives notice of the allegations and the opportunity for a hearing but fails to appear to answer the allegations, the Securities Commissioner need not hold a hearing to determine if a Securities Act violation occurred, and may impose civil penalties and other remedies upon determining that a violation occurred
  • Recognizes that an administrative action for a violation of the Securities Act survives even if a potential respondent passes away
  • Makes unlawful the fraudulent or deceitful acts of a person who is in the business of giving advice for compensation, directly or through publication, regarding the value of securities, or the advisability of a securities transaction
  • Specifies a 60-day time frame in which a securities issuer may correct a deficiency in the issuer's application for registration of a securities issue; if the deficiency is not corrected within that time frame, the application is declared abandoned

"I want to thank the members of the General Assembly who worked to make this legislation possible, particularly Senator Murray Clark, who authored the bill, and Senators Allen Paul, Joe Zakas and Tim Lanane and Representatives Jeb Bardon and Michael Ripley who sponsored the legislation," Rokita said.