Office of Financial Institutions

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 01, 2007  
Contact Information:  Kelly May
Public Information Officer
502-573-3390, ext. 252

     FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 1, 2007) – Today the Office of Financial Institutions (OFI) presented evidence to Judge Thomas Wingate in the agency’s motion for contempt against Jewell Robbins, aka Alvina Jewell Robbins Burgin, in a Franklin Circuit Court hearing.

     OFI obtained a permanent injunction in June 2006 to prohibit Robbins from offering or selling securities without OFI approval. OFI’s complaint alleged Robbins failed to disclose the exact nature of the investment to potential investors. The injunction also requires Robbins to assist OFI in identifying all her investors and furnish OFI with her banking information.

     In October 2006, OFI filed a contempt of court motion against Robbins. Today’s hearing related to that motion, which alleges three violations of the injunction: Robbins continued selling securities, failed to assist OFI by identifying her investors and failed to supply OFI with names and locations of financial institutions in which she and her associates maintained accounts.

     In the hearing, the judge entered several items presented by OFI into evidence, including a subpoena requesting a list of investors from Robbins, a list of more than 9,000 names that Robbins had given to OFI, and Robbins’ bank records that OFI obtained through other sources. The list of names did not include any information about how much money the people invested, the number of shares they bought or any contact information, which OFI argues does not meet the requirement of the injunction. OFI alleges bank records have never been provided to OFI by Robbins or her counsel.

     The judge also accepted into evidence a recording of a conference call for investors in which Robbins participated in April. Because the recording could not be adequately played in court, the judge said he would listen to the evidence and issue his decision within five days. OFI alleges that in that conference call, Robbins can be heard saying she will honor “love gifts,” and she confirms that she wants people to send strictly money orders and no personal checks. When asked how long it will be before money is available, Robbins cites a California “nondisclosure” agreement as a reason for not being able to say, according to OFI.

     When Robbins was questioned by OFI attorney Aubrey “Sonny” Mooney as to whether her efforts have resulted in the collection of any funds to pay to investors, her only answer was that she would in the future.

     In 1985, Robbins began selling unregistered securities in the form of “interests in litigation.” She sold to investors fractional interests in what she might recover as a result of four lawsuits filed on behalf of heirs attempting to obtain shares of inheritance from the Spindletop oil strike in Texas.

     Although the judge did not issue his ruling today, he did speak to Robbins after the questioning. He explained that he will uphold the previous judge’s order and that the maximum penalty if she does not comply is jail time.

     “When I issue my opinion, I expect it to always be followed,” Wingate said.