Office of Financial Institutions

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 10, 2007  
Contact Information:  Kelly May
Public Information Officer
502-573-3390, ext. 252

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 10, 2007) – Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Wingate today signed an order finding Jewell Robbins in contempt of court for “a willful, knowing violation” of an injunction forbidding her from continuing selling unregistered securities.

    The Office of Financial Institutions (OFI) obtained the injunction in 2006 and requested the contempt of court order issued by Wingate today.

    Wingate sentenced Robbins to 120 days in the Franklin County Jail but suspended the jail time on condition that she comply with his order and the original injunction.  A review of compliance is scheduled for July 25 at 10 a.m. in Franklin Circuit Court.

    “We welcome Judge Wingate’s ruling. This is a serious case, and we take seriously our responsibility to prevent the defrauding of investors who purchase securities,” said Teresa Hill, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, which oversees OFI.

    The court found that Robbins, aka Alvina Jewell Robbins Burgin, “continued to sell securities in the form of sales or assignments of partial interest in litigation or judgments in violation of the court order,” according to the order entered today.

    Robbins denied selling “sales and assignments” after the order, but others continued to do so. She accepted the proceeds of their sales as “gifts,” and those who offered the gifts received a partial interest in litigation.

    “The court finds this continued conduct to be a willful, knowing violation of the Court’s prior Order,” Wingate’s ruling said.

    The court also found that Robbins failed to assist OFI with identifying all persons who invested and failed to furnish names and locations of her bank accounts, as required by the 2006 injunction.

    Robbins has 45 days to provide the names, addresses and exact amounts of investments by all individuals and 30 days to report to OFI all of her assets, including bank accounts.

    “The sale of securities to investors is governed by specific laws, including the proper registration, permitted sales practices and required disclosures, which Ms. Robbins did not follow. Consequently, she has been selling securities in violation of the law,” said Cordell Lawrence, executive director of OFI.

    During a hearing on May 1, 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.