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Wednesday, January 17 News

Business Briefs: SEC sues town investor, Kickboxing studio opens...

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued a Westport financial firm and its CEO, claiming clients were hit with nearly $800,000 in extra hidden fees and other charges on risky investments that resulted in losses of $1.2 million.

Westport Capital Markets has its office at 257 Riverside Ave. and is run by Christopher McClure. The firm operates as an investment broker-dealer for individuals and insitutional investors.

McClure, a Fairfield resident, forwarded a Hearst Connecticut Media query to an attorney who stated McClure and his company will defend themselves against the SEC accusation.

According to the SEC, Westport Capital Markets generated hidden mark-ups by selling securities to client accounts from a proprietary brokerage account. Federal law requires investment advisers to obtain client consent for such transactions. The SEC claims Westport Capital Markets also pocketed mutual fund distribution fees without adequate disclosure to clients.

The SEC analyzed transactions that generated $1.7 million in advisory fees for Westport Capital Markets between the 2012 and 2015 fiscal years.

iLoveKickboxing, under the ownership of Kurt and Susan Gillis, has opened, and is a fully equipped kickboxing studio at 530 Kings Highway Cutoff, next to the Edge and across from The Home Depot.

iLoveKickboxing is part of a fitness national kickboxing franchise, and the Gillis’ second in the area. The Gillis’ original Shelton location is in its third year of operation.

The programs are high-intensity interval training, which features intense bursts of exercise followed by short periods of rest.

Classes meet throughout the week Monday through Saturday.

Tina Anastasia, of Westport, has been promoted and made partner at Mark P. Finlay Interiors LLC. In her role as director of interior design, Anastasia has led the charge of dozens of projects on behalf the MPF brand.

Native to Florida, Anastasia joined Fairfield-based MPF Interiors in 2013.

Pia Lauren Natural Skincare conducted a ribbon-cutting Dec. 11, celebrating its grand opening at 173 Post Road and becoming a member of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.

Pia Lauren has drawn on nearly three decades of skin care experience to create a signature line of products. The Pia Lauren Skin and Body Care collection reflects her commitment to customized treatments and all-natural organic ingredients.

Connecticut has launched a new tax amnesty program called CT Fresh Start, with the goal of recouping $85 million in back taxes owed by residents and businesses.

Under the program that runs through November, the state Department of Revenue Services will waive penalties and reduce interest owed by half. Details are at makeafreshstartct.com or by calling 877-729-6691.

Local property taxes are not included in the amnesty program.

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