2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 10 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 5A - COMMODITIES AND COMMODITY CONTRACTS AND OPTIONS
ARTICLE 2 - ENFORCEMENT
§ 10-5A-20 - Investigations
(a) The Commissioner at his discretion:
(1) May make such public or private investigations within or outside of this state as he deems necessary to determine whether any person has violated or is about to violate this chapter or any rule, regulation, or order under this chapter or to aid in the enforcement of this chapter or in the prescribing of rules and regulations under this chapter;
(2) May require or permit any person to file a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise as the Commissioner determines, as to all the facts and circumstances concerning the matter to be investigated; and
(3) May publish in print or electronically information concerning any violation of this chapter or any rule, regulation, or order under this chapter.
(b) (1) For the purpose of conducting any investigation as provided in this Code section, the Commissioner shall have the power to administer oaths, to call any party to testify under oath at such investigations, to require the attendance of witnesses, to require the production of books, records, and papers, and to take the depositions of witnesses; and for such purposes the Commissioner is authorized to issue a subpoena for any witness or a subpoena for the production of documentary evidence. Such subpoenas may be served by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the addressee's business mailing address or by investigators appointed by the Commissioner or shall be directed for service to the sheriff of the county where such witness resides or is found or where the person in custody of any books, records, or papers resides or is found. The fees and mileage of the sheriff, witness, or person shall be paid from the funds in the state treasury for the use of the Commissioner in the same manner that other expenses of the Commissioner are paid.
(2) The Commissioner may issue and apply to enforce subpoenas in this state at the request of a securities agency or commissioner of another state if the activities constituting an alleged violation for which the information is sought would be a violation of this chapter if the activities had occurred in this state.
(c) In case of refusal to obey a subpoena issued under any Code section of this chapter to any person, a superior court of appropriate jurisdiction, upon application by the Commissioner, may issue to the person any order requiring him to appear before the court to show cause why he should not be held in contempt for refusal to obey the subpoena. Failure to obey a subpoena may be punished by the court as contempt of court.
(d) In the case of any investigation conducted under this Code section, the Commissioner may hold hearings or he may appoint an investigative agent to conduct the hearings who shall have the same powers and authority in conducting the hearings as are granted to the Commissioner in this Code section. The agent shall possess such qualifications as the Commissioner may require. A transcript of the testimony and evidence and objections resulting from such hearings shall be taken unless waived in writing by all parties present at the hearings. Copies of the transcript shall be available to all parties present at the hearing upon payment of the reasonable expense of reproducing the transcript. All recommendations of the investigative agent shall be advisory only and shall not have the effect of an order of the Commissioner.
(e) In any case where a hearing is conducted by an investigative agent, he shall submit to the Commissioner a written report, including the transcript of the testimony in evidence if requested by the Commissioner, the findings of the hearing, and a recommendation of the action to be taken by the Commissioner. The recommendation of the agent shall be approved, modified, or disapproved by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may direct an investigative agent to take additional testimony or permit introduction of further documentary evidence.
(f) In addition to any other hearings and investigations which the Commissioner is authorized or required to hold by this chapter, the Commissioner is also authorized to hold general investigative hearings on his own motion with respect to any matter under this chapter. A general investigative hearing as provided for in this subsection may be conducted by any person designated by the Commissioner for that purpose and may, but need not, be transcribed by the Commissioner or by any other interested party. No formal action may be taken as a result of such investigative hearing; but the Commissioner may take such action as he deems appropriate, based on the information developed in the hearing and on any other information which he may have.
(g) The Commissioner may disclose information obtained in connection with an investigation under this Code section to the extent provided in this Code section and if disclosure is for the purpose of a civil, administrative, or criminal investigation or proceeding by a securities agency or law enforcement agency and the receiving agency represents that, under the applicable law, protections exist to preserve the integrity, confidentiality, and security of the information.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer