GARDINER — The Office of Securities ordered nearly $1.2 million in penalties and restitution in 2012 on behalf of investors harmed by violations of securities laws, the Maine Department of Professional & Financial Regulation announced this week.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Insurance helped to recover more than $3 million in disputed claims for Maine insurance consumers in 2012, according to news releases from the department.

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The Office of Securities, which oversees 2,281 licensed firms and 96,653 individual brokers and financial advisers, assessed nearly $862,000 in monetary penalties and nearly $320,000 in restitution last year.

Securities Administrator Judith Shaw helped to convict a former New Hampshire stockbroker, James Philbrook, on charges that he took $195,000 from an Aroostook County couple for a fictitious investment and used the money for personal purposes.

The office also led a multistate investigation of unlicensed brokerage activity by Bankers Life and Casualty Co., leading to an $11.6 million settlement for participating states.

In the Bureau of Insurance, nearly $2.2 million in disputed claims was recovered by the bureau’s Consumer Health Care Division, and nearly $950,000 was recovered by the Property and Casualty Division.

The bureau fielded nearly 9,000 inquiries and more than 900 complaints last year, according to Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa.