The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 8: Banking and Insurance

Chapter 79: MONEY SERVICES

Sub-Chapter 05: Examinations; Reports; Records

8 V.S.A. § 2530. Authority to conduct examinations and investigations



§ 2530. Authority to conduct examinations and investigations

(a) In addition to any authority allowed under this chapter or elsewhere and for the purpose of examination or discovering or investigating violations or complaints of or arising under this chapter or under any other applicable law, rule, order, directive, or regulation or of securing any information required or useful thereunder and for purposes of initial licensing, license renewal, license suspension, license conditioning, license revocation or termination, or general or specific inquiry or investigation, the Commissioner or his or her duly designated representative shall have the authority to:

(1) Conduct investigations and examinations at any time.

(2) Access, receive, and use any books, accounts, records, files, documents, information, or evidence, including:

(A) Criminal, civil, and administrative history information, including nonconviction data;

(B) Personal history and experience information, including independent credit reports obtained from a consumer reporting agency described in subsection 603(p) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(p); and

(C) Any other documents, information, or evidence the Commissioner deems relevant to the inquiry or investigation regardless of the location, possession, control, or custody of such documents, information, or evidence.

(b) The Commissioner may review, investigate, or examine any licensee, individual, or person, regardless of whether such individual or person has obtained a license under this chapter, as often as necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The Commissioner may direct, subpoena, or order the attendance of and examine under oath all persons whose testimony may be required about the business or subject matter of any such examination or investigation and may direct, subpoena, or order such person to produce books, accounts, records, files, and any other documents the Commissioner deems relevant to the inquiry.

(c) Each licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter shall make available to the Commissioner upon request the books and records relating to the operations of such licensee, individual, or person. The Commissioner shall have access to such books and records and may interview the officers, principals, control persons, employees, independent contractors, agents, and customers of the licensee, individual, or person concerning their business.

(d) Each licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter shall make or compile reports or prepare other information as directed by the Commissioner in order to carry out the purposes of this section, including:

(1) Accounting compilations;

(2) Information lists and data concerning transactions and business activities in a format prescribed by the Commissioner; and

(3) Such other information as the Commissioner deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

(e) In making any examination or investigation authorized by this chapter, the Commissioner may control access to any documents and records of the licensee or person under examination or investigation. The Commissioner may take possession of the documents and records or place a person in exclusive charge of the documents and records in the place where they are usually kept. During the period of control, no individual or person shall remove or attempt to remove any of the documents and records except pursuant to a court order or with the consent of the Commissioner. Unless the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe the documents or records of the licensee have been or are at risk of being altered or destroyed for purposes of concealing a violation of this chapter, the licensee or owner of the documents and records shall have access to the documents or records as necessary to conduct its ordinary business affairs.

(f) In order to carry out the purposes of this chapter, the Commissioner may:

(1) Retain attorneys, accountants, or other professionals and specialists as examiners, auditors, or investigators to conduct or assist in the conduct of examinations or investigations;

(2) Enter into agreements or relationships with other government officials or regulatory associations in order to improve efficiencies and reduce regulatory burden by sharing resources, standardized or uniform methods or procedures, and documents, records, information, or evidence obtained under this section;

(3) Use, hire, contract, or employ public or privately available analytical systems, methods, or software to examine or investigate the licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter;

(4) Accept and rely on examination or investigation reports made by other government officials within or without this State; or

(5) Accept audit reports made by an independent certified public accountant for the licensee, individual, or person subject to this chapter in the course of that part of the examination covering the same general subject matter as the audit and may incorporate the audit report in the report of the examination, report of investigation, or other writing of the Commissioner.

(g) The authority of this section shall remain in effect whether such a licensee, individual, or person acts or claims to act under any licensing or registration law of this State, acts without such authority, or surrenders such licensee's license.

(h) No licensee, individual, or person subject to investigation or examination under this section may knowingly withhold, abstract, remove, mutilate, destroy, or secrete any books, records, computer records, or other information.

(i) Each licensee shall pay to the Department all fees, costs, and expenses of any examination, review, and investigation as prescribed by section 18 of this title, and those fees, costs, and expenses shall be billed when they are incurred. The Commissioner may maintain an action for the recovery of examination, review and investigation fees, costs, and expenses as prescribed in section 18 of this title in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(j) Information obtained during an examination or investigation under this chapter shall be confidential and privileged, and shall be treated as provided in section 23 of this title. (Added 2001, No. 55, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; amended 2011, No. 78 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. April 2, 2012.)