54B-65. Civil penalties; directors, officers and employees.

(a) Any person, whether a director, officer or employee, who is found to have violated any provision of this Article, whether willfully or as a result of gross negligence, gross incompetency, or recklessness, may be ordered to forfeit and pay a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation. Any person who is found to have violated or failed to comply with any cease and desist order issued under the authority of this Article, may be ordered to forfeit and pay a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation for each day that the violation or failure to comply continues.

The clear proceeds of civil penalties provided for in this section shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2.

(b) To enforce the provisions of this section, the Commissioner of Banks is authorized to assess such a penalty and to appear in a court of competent jurisdiction and to move the court to order payment of the penalty. Prior to the assessment of the penalty, a hearing shall be held by the Commissioner of Banks which shall comply with the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(c) Whenever the Commissioner of Banks shall determine that an emergency exists which requires immediate corrective action, the Commissioner of Banks, either before or after instituting any other action or proceeding authorized by this Article, may request the Attorney General to institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction, in the name of the State upon the relation of the Commissioner of Banks seeking injunctive relief to restrain or enjoin the violation or threatened violation of this Article and for such other and further relief as the court may deem proper. Instituting an action for injunctive relief shall not relieve any party to such proceedings from any civil or criminal penalty prescribed for violation of this Article.

(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent anyone damaged by a director, officer or employee of a State association from bringing a separate cause of action in a court of competent jurisdiction. (1981, c. 282, s. 3; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 1998-215, s. 37; 2001-193, s. 16.)