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:
"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.