New York Consolidated Laws, General Business Law - GBS § 352. Investigation by attorney-general

1. Whenever it shall appear to the attorney-general, either upon complaint or otherwise, that in the advertisement, investment advice, purchase or sale within this state of any commodity dealt in on any exchange within the United States of America or the delivery of which is contemplated by transfer of negotiable documents of title all of which are hereinafter called commodities, or that in the issuance, exchange, purchase, sale, promotion, negotiation, advertisement, investment advice or distribution within or from this state, of any stocks, bonds, notes, evidences of interest or indebtedness or other securities, including oil and mineral deeds or leases and any interest therein, sold or transferred in whole or in part to the purchaser where the same do not effect a transfer of the title in fee simple to the land, or negotiable documents of title, or foreign currency orders, calls or options therefor hereinafter called security or securities, any person, partnership, corporation, company, trust or association, or any agent or employee thereof, shall have employed, or employs, or is about to employ any device, scheme or artifice to defraud or for obtaining money or property by means of any false pretense, representation or promise, or that any person, partnership, corporation, company, trust or association, or any agent or employee thereof, shall have made, makes or attempts to make within or from this state fictitious or pretended purchases or sales of securities or commodities or that any person, partnership, corporation, company, trust or association, or agent or employee thereof shall have employed, or employs, or is about to employ, any deception, misrepresentation, concealment, suppression, fraud, false pretense or false promise, or shall have engaged in or engages in or is about to engage in any practice or transaction or course of business relating to the purchase, exchange, investment advice or sale of securities or commodities which is fraudulent or in violation of law and which has operated or which would operate as a fraud upon the purchaser, or that any broker, dealer, or salesman, as defined by section three hundred fifty-nine-e of this article, or any agent or employee thereof, has sold or offered for sale or is attempting to sell or is offering for sale any security or securities in violation of the provisions of said section or section three hundred fifty-nine-ee , or that any other section of this article has been violated, any one or all of which devices, schemes, artifices, fictitious or pretended purchases or sales of securities or commodities, deceptions, misrepresentations, concealments, suppressions, frauds, false pretenses, false promises, practices, transactions and courses of business are hereby declared to be and are hereinafter referred to as a fraudulent practice or fraudulent practices or he believes it to be in the public interest that an investigation be made, he may in his discretion either require or permit such person, partnership, corporation, company, trust or association, or any agent or employee thereof, to file with him a statement in writing under oath or otherwise as to all the facts and circumstances concerning the subject matter which he believes it is to the public interest to investigate, and for that purpose may prescribe forms upon which such statements shall be made.  The attorney-general may also require such other data and information as he may deem relevant and may make such special and independent investigations as he may deem necessary in connection with the matter.

2. The attorney-general, his deputy or other officer designated by him is empowered to subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, examine them under oath before him or a magistrate, a court of record or a judge or justice thereof and require the production of any books or papers which he deems relevant or material to the inquiry.  Such power of subpoena and examination shall not abate or terminate by reason of any action or proceeding brought by the attorney-general under this article.

3. No person shall be excused from attending such inquiry in pursuance to the mandates of a subpoena, or from producing a paper or book, or from being examined or required to answer a question on the ground of failure of tender or payment of a witness fee and/or mileage, unless at the time of such appearance or production, as the case may be, such witness makes demand for such payment as a condition precedent to the offering of testimony or production required by the subpoena and unless such payment is not thereupon made.  The provisions for payment of witness fee and/or mileage do not apply to any officer, director or person in the employ of any person, partnership, corporation, company, trust or association whose conduct or practices are being investigated.

4. If a person subpoenaed to attend such inquiry fails to obey the command of a subpoena without reasonable cause, or if a person in attendance upon such inquiry shall without reasonable cause refuse to be sworn or to be examined or to answer a question or to produce a book or paper when ordered so to do by the officer conducting such inquiry, or if a person, partnership, corporation, company, trust or association fails to perform any act required hereunder to be performed, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

5. It shall be the duty of all public officers, their deputies, assistants, subordinates, clerks or employees and all other persons to render and furnish to the attorney-general, his deputy or other designated officer when requested all information and assistance in their possession or within their power.  Any officer participating in such inquiry and any person examined as a witness upon such inquiry who shall disclose to any person other than the attorney-general the name of any witness examined or any other information obtained upon such inquiry except as directed by the attorney-general shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

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