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NASD Expels and Fines Del Mar Financial, Owner

November 28, 2000|E. SCOTT RECKARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The National Assn. of Securities Dealers said Monday it has expelled Del Mar Financial Services Inc. and imposed a $10,000 fine on the former Irvine brokerage and its owner, Kevin Conway Dills.

Saying Dills operated the tiny securities company with insufficient capital in 1998, the NASD also barred him from associating with any of its members. The fine comes due if Dills and Del Mar ever seek to reenter the securities industry.

Dills and Del Mar never answered a complaint issued last spring, according to NASD, a self-regulating industry group. It said letters sent to Dills' listed addresses were returned and marked undeliverable.

Dills, a former resident of Rancho Santa Fe, couldn't be reached for comment Monday. Del Mar is no longer an active corporation, according to state records. Calls to the company's listed phone number in Irvine yielded only busy signals.

NASD said it first requested information on Del Mar's financial difficulties in June 1998, but never received replies.

A pending Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit accuses Dills and Del Mar of cheating clients who traded shares of Comparator Systems Corp., a Newport Beach maker of fingerprint identification systems.

In its August 1999 suit, the SEC said Del Mar underpaid customers for Comparator stock that they sold to Del Mar. The brokerage did so to erase more than $800,000 in trading losses and restore its net capital, the SEC said.

Comparator's stock rose 30-fold in record trading during three days in May 1996. The company later settled SEC charges that it inflated the value of its assets and defrauded investors of $2.9 million.

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