Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 6.2. Financial Institutions and Services
Chapter 15. Consumer Finance Companies

§ 6.2-1530. Investigations; immunities.

A. For the purpose of discovering violations of this chapter or securing information lawfully required under it, the Commission may at any time investigate the loans, books and records of any person who:

1. Is engaged, or appears to the Commission to be engaged, in a business for which the person is required to be licensed and supervised under this chapter;

2. Advertises for, solicits, or holds itself out as willing to make loans subject to the provisions of this chapter; or

3. The Commission has reason to believe is violating any provision of this chapter, whether such person shall act or claim to act under or without the authority of this chapter, or as principal, agent, broker, or otherwise.

B. In furtherance of the investigation the Commission shall:

1. Have and be given free access to the offices, places of business, books, papers, accounts, records, files, safes, and vaults of all such persons; and

2. Have authority to require attendance of witnesses and to examine under oath any person whose testimony may be required relative to any such loans or business or to the subject matter of the investigation, examination or hearing.

C. Before making an investigation as provided for in this section as to any person who is neither licensed nor an applicant for a license under this chapter, an order shall be entered by the Commission. The order shall specifically direct the investigation to be made, command submission by the person whose business is to be investigated, and set forth all other details the Commission finds necessary. The Commission shall not enter such an order except upon (i) at least one affidavit, which may be given by an employee of the Commission or by any other person, (ii) documentary data, (iii) admissions of the person to be investigated, or (iv) any combination of the foregoing, satisfactorily establishing, prima facie, facts sufficient to warrant the investigation provided for by subsection A. If the person involved consents to the investigation, the foregoing requirements may be dispensed with and the investigation may be made upon direction of the Commission or the Commissioner.

D. No criminal prosecution or action for the imposition of any penalty or forfeiture provided for by this chapter may be maintained against a person not a licensee or an applicant for a license under this chapter who is investigated following entry of an order as provided in subsection C. This subsection shall not:

1. Prevent prosecution for the violation of any other criminal law or of any other law providing for penalty or forfeiture; and

2. Provide immunity from prosecution for any officer, agent, or employee of the person whose business is investigated.

E. If the Commission compels a person not a licensee or an applicant for a license under this chapter to give verbal testimony, the person so compelled to testify shall not be subject to criminal prosecution or the imposition of any penalty or forfeiture in connection with the subject matter as to which such testimony is compelled.

F. The immunities provided pursuant to subsections D and E shall not impair (i) any civil right of action, not involving penalty or forfeiture, of any person and (ii) the authority of the Attorney General to institute and prosecute a proceeding for injunctive relief as provided for in § 6.2-1537. Any facts discovered and disclosures made in the course of any investigation following entry of an order as provided in subsection C or verbal testimony compelled as provided in subsection E shall be available in any proceeding involving any civil right of action or for obtaining an injunction under this chapter against the person so investigated or so compelled to testify.

Code 1950, §§ 6-323, 6-324, 6-325, 6-326; 1956, c. 71; 1966, c. 584, §§ 6.1-294, 6.1-295, 6.1-296, 6.1-297; 1968, c. 489; 1974, c. 371; 2010, c. 794.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.