photos by pexels.com

COURT ORDERS $1 BILLION JUDGMENT AGAINST OPERATORS OF WOODBRIDGE PONZI SCHEME TARGETING RETAIL INVESTORS

01/28/2019
Former Owner Robert H. Shapiro Fined $100 Million
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2019-3

Washington D.C. — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a federal court in Florida ordered Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC and its former owner to pay $1 billion in penalties and disgorgement for operating a Ponzi scheme that targeted retail investors.

The Honorable Judge Marcia G. Cooke of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida approved judgments against Woodbridge and its 281 related companies ordering them to pay $892 million in disgorgement. The court ordered former owner and CEO Robert H. Shapiro to pay a $100 million civil penalty and to disgorge $18.5 million in ill-gotten gains plus $2.1 million in prejudgment interest.

In December 2017, the SEC filed an emergency action charging the company and other defendants with operating a massive $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme that defrauded 8,400 retail investors nationwide, many of them seniors who had invested retirement funds. The SEC’s complaint alleged that Shapiro made Ponzi payments to investors and used a web of shell companies to conceal the scheme.

“This resolution accomplishes one of the SEC’s core missions to protect retail investors,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Mr. Shapiro and other defendants will be held accountable and required to pay substantial penalties for their misconduct.”

“Our complaint charged that when Woodbridge’s fictitious business model collapsed, the company stopped paying investors and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,” said Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office. “The settlement provides for the return of significant funds to investors.”

The court’s disgorgement order against Woodbridge and related corporate defendants will be deemed satisfied by a Liquidation Trust being formed under a plan in the Woodbridge Chapter 11 case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (Case No. 17-12560-KJC). The Liquidation Trust will be obligated to make distributions of net proceeds from the disposition of the defendants’ assets in bankruptcy. The amount to be distributed will depend upon the amounts collected by the Liquidation Trust.

All defendants and relief defendants, without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, consented to the entry of final judgments which also permanently prohibit the defendants from violating the antifraud and other provisions of the federal securities laws.

RS Protection Trust and several relief defendants were collectively ordered to pay $5.3 million in ill-gotten gains and interest. Shapiro also consented to the entry of an SEC administrative order, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, permanently barring Shapiro from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, and from participating in any offering of a penny stock.

The SEC’s litigation has been led by Russell Koonin, Christine Nestor, Scott A. Lowry and David W. Baddley, and has been supervised by Andrew O. Schiff in the Miami Regional Office. The SEC’s continuing investigation is being conducted by Mr. Lowry, Ms. Nestor, Mr. Koonin and Mark Dee, and supervised by Jason R. Berkowitz and Fernando Torres.

###

Check Also

communication via hand phone

Global Clinical Alarm Management Market to 2023 with Koninklijke Philips, Vocera, Ascom, Spok, Bernoulli, Connexall, Mobile Heartbeat, GE Healthcare, Capsule Technologie & Masimo Dominating

In 2018, North America is expected to account for the largest share of the global clinical alarm management market. The large share of this region can be attributed to the increasing cases of alarm fatigue and initiatives by government bodies to curtail the effects of alarm fatigue and the increasing need for integrated healthcare IT systems to ensure reliability, efficient maintenance of data, data integrity, and timely availability of patient data to authorized healthcare professionals.

Let your money work for you

SS&C GlobeOp Hedge Fund Performance Index and Capital Movement; IndexSS&C GlobeOp Hedge Fund Performance Index: February performance 1.24%; Capital Movement Index: March net flows advance 0.21%

The SS&C GlobeOp Hedge Fund Performance Index is an asset-weighted, independent monthly window on hedge fund performance. On the ninth business day of each month it provides a flash estimate of the gross aggregate performance of funds for which SS&C GlobeOp provides monthly administration services on the SS&C GlobeOp platform. Interim and final values, both gross and net, are provided in each of the two following months, respectively. Online data can be segmented by gross and net performance, and by time periods. The SS&C GlobeOp Hedge Fund Performance Index is transparent, consistent in data processing, and free from selection or survivorship bias. Its inception date is January 1, 2006.

Image of the US Economy

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. Increased; Economy to Continue Expanding in Near-Term

The ten components of The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for the U.S. include:Average weekly hours, manufacturingAverage weekly initial claims for unemployment insuranceManufacturers' new orders, consumer goods and materialsISM® Index of New OrdersManufacturers' new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft ordersBuilding permits, new private housing unitsStock prices, 500 common stocksLeading Credit Index™Interest rate spread, 10-year Treasury bonds less federal fundsAverage consumer expectations for business conditionsFor full press release and technical notes:http://www.conference-board.org/data/bcicountry.cfm?cid=1

Growth stock image

Willamette Valley Vineyards Posts a Profit for 2018

Jim Bernau, Founder and President of the winery, said "We are pleased Income from Operations was up 15% for the year. Earnings are affected by the dividend cost as we raised the money needed for the planned winery near Dundee prior to construction. As we are able to deploy these development funds, we expect the projected earnings to more than offset the higher dividend costs."

Investing pennies

SEC Proposes Offering Reforms for Business Development Companies and Registered Closed-End Funds

The proposed amendments would modify the registration, communications, and offering processes available to BDCs and registered closed-end funds, building on offering practices that operating companies currently use.

Investment

Data Experts Outline Success Factors for Registered/Private Funds

The different types of data in the fund industry (e.g., external sources and internal sources created by the fund)Defining classification vs. segmentationSegmentation best practices"The asset management industry needs powerful information to navigate the challenges of volatile investment markets, unprecedented regulatory changes and transformational shifts in investors' product preferences," said Mr. Kosanovic. "Technology can help fund managers visualize their data in ways to help them optimally spend their time and resources with greater efficiency to grow their funds."

Alert image

Investor Alerts and Bulletins: The Escheatment Process

Keep your contact information updated. Financial institutions must attempt to notify you before escheating your account. Make sure financial institutions at which you have accounts have your accurate contact information (telephone, e-mail and physical address) to help ensure you receive any notices related to your accounts. If your financial institution sends you mail that is returned as undeliverable, or it cannot reach you through your other contact information, your account may be declared abandoned and end up in escheatment.

%d bloggers like this: