Section 204. (a) The secretary may by order impose an administrative fine or censure or deny, suspend, or revoke any registration or take any other appropriate action if he finds (1) that the order is in the public interest and (2) that the applicant or registrant or, in the case of a broker-dealer or investment adviser, any partner, officer, or director, any person occupying a similar status or performing similar functions, or any person directly or indirectly controlling the broker-dealer or investment adviser:—
(A) has filed an application for registration which as of its effective date, or as of any date after filing in the case of an order denying effectiveness, was incomplete in any material respect or contained any statement which was, in light of the circumstances under which it was made, false or misleading with respect to any material fact;
(B) has willfully violated or willfully failed to comply with any provision of this chapter or a predecessor chapter or any rule or order under this chapter or a predecessor chapter;
(C) has been convicted, within the past ten years, of any misdemeanor involving a security or any aspect of the securities business, or any felony;
(D) is permanently or temporarily enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction from engaging in or continuing any conduct or practice involving any aspect of the securities business;
(E) is the subject of an order of the secretary denying, suspending or revoking registration as a broker-dealer, agent, investment adviser, or investment adviser representative;
(F) is the subject of any of the following orders which are currently effective or which were issued within the last five years;
(i) an order by the securities agency or administrator of another state, Canadian province or territory, or the Securities and Exchange Commission, entered after notice and opportunity for hearing, denying, suspending, or revoking the person’s license as a broker dealer, agent or investment advisor, or the substantial equivalent of those terms as defined in this chapter;
(ii) a suspension or expulsion from membership in an association with a self regulatory organization registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or the Commodities Exchange Act;
(iii) a United States Postal Service fraud order;
(iv) a cease and desist order entered after notice and opportunity for hearing by the secretary or the securities agency or administrator of any other state, Canadian province or territory, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; or
(v) an order by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission denying, suspending, or revoking registration under the Commodity Exchange Act;
(G) has engaged in any unethical or dishonest conduct or practices in the securities, commodities or insurance business;
(H) is insolvent, either in the sense that his liabilities exceed his assets or in the sense that he cannot meet his obligations as they mature; but the secretary may not enter an order against a broker-dealer under this clause without a finding of insolvency as to the broker-dealer; or
(I) is not qualified on the basis of such factors as training, experience, and knowledge of the securities business, except as otherwise provided in subsection (b).
The secretary may by order deny, suspend, or revoke any registration if he finds (1) that the order is in the public interest and (2) that the applicant or registrant
(J) has failed reasonably to supervise agents, investment adviser representatives or other employees to assure compliance with this chapter; or:—
(K) has failed to pay the proper filing fee; but the secretary may enter only a denial order under this clause, and he shall vacate any such order when the deficiency has been corrected.
The secretary may not institute a suspension or revocation proceeding on the basis of a fact or transaction known to him when registration became effective unless the proceeding is instituted within the next thirty days.
(b) The following provisions govern the application of section 204(a)(2)(
(1) The secretary may not enter an order against a broker-dealer on the basis of the lack of qualification of any person other than (A) the broker-dealer himself if he is an individual or (B) an agent of the broker-dealer.
(2) The secretary may not enter an order against any investment adviser of the basis of the lack of qualification of any person other than (a) the investment adviser himself if he is an individual or (b) an investment adviser representative.
(3) The secretary may not enter an order solely on the basis of lack of experience if the applicant or registrant is qualified by training or knowledge or both.
(4) The secretary shall consider that an agent who will work under the supervision of a registered broker-dealer need not have the same qualifications as a broker-dealer and that an investment adviser representative who will work under the supervision of a registered investment adviser need not have the same qualifications as an investment adviser.
(5) The secretary may consider that a broker-dealer or an agent is not necessarily qualified to act in the capacity as an investment adviser solely on the basis of experience as an agent. When he finds that an applicant for initial or renewal registration as a broker-dealer or agent is not qualified to act in the capacity of an investment adviser, he may by order condition the applicant’s registration as a broker-dealer upon his not transacting the business of an investment adviser in this state.
(6) The secretary may by rule provide for an examination, which may be written or oral or both, to be taken by any class of or all applicants.
(c) The secretary may by order summarily postpone or suspend registration, pending final determination of any proceeding under this section. Upon the entry of the order, the secretary shall promptly notify the applicant or registrant, as well as the employer or prospective employer if the applicant or registrant is an agent or investment adviser representative, that it has been entered and of the reasons therefor and that within fifteen days after the receipt of a written request the matter will be set down for hearing. If a hearing is requested or ordered, the secretary, after notice of and opportunity for hearing, may modify or vacate the order or extend it until final determination.
(d) If the secretary finds that any registrant or applicant for registration is no longer in existence or has ceased to do business as a broker-dealer, agent, investment adviser or investment adviser representative, or is subject to an adjudication of mental incompetence or to the control of a committee, conservator, or guardian, or cannot be located after reasonable search, the secretary may by order cancel the registration or application.
(e) Withdrawal from registration as a broker-dealer, agent, investment adviser, or investment adviser representative shall become effective thirty days after receipt of an application to withdraw or within such shorter period of time as the secretary may determine, unless a revocation or suspension proceeding is pending when the application is filed or a proceeding to revoke or suspend or impose conditions upon withdrawal is instituted within thirty days after the application is filed. If a proceeding is pending or instituted, withdrawal becomes effective at such time and upon such conditions as the secretary by order determines. If no proceeding is pending or instituted and withdrawal automatically becomes effective, the secretary may nevertheless institute a revocation or suspension order proceeding under clause (B) of subsection (a) within one year after withdrawal became effective and enter a revocation or suspension order as of the last date on which registration was effective.
(f) No order may be entered under any part of this section except the first sentence of subsection (c) without (1) appropriate prior notice to the applicant or registrant as well as the employer or prospective employer if the applicant or registrant is an agent or investment adviser representative, (2) opportunity for hearing, and (3) written findings of fact and conclusions of law.