201712.24
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Woodbridge Group & Robert Shapiro — Alleged Ponzi Scheme

SEC is Charging that Woodbridge Group, the Developer of High-end Properties in Fork Valley and Other Locations, Allegedly Defeauded Thousands of Investors in a $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme which Purportedly Targeted Main Street Investors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged that Woodbridge Group of Companies, a developer of high-end properties in the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado and in other areas, allegedly operated a a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme which allegedly defrauded thousands of investors, according to an SEC Complaint currently under review by attorneys Joe Peiffer and James Booker.

Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane securities practice lawyers are investigating Woodbridge Group’s alleged Ponzi scheme. They represent investors with millions of dollars of claims, have been assisting them in the Woodbridge bankruptcy proceedings, and are evaluating a number of recovery options on their behalf.

Investors who believe they may have lost money in activity related to Robert Shapiro and Woodbridge Group’s alleged Ponzi scheme are encouraged to contact attorneys Joe Peiffer or James Booker with any useful information or for a free, no obligation discussion about their options.

The aforementioned SEC Complaint further alleges that Robert H. Shapiro and his Woodbridge Group of Companies purportedly defrauded more than 8,400 investors.

Alleged Fraud and violations of the securities and broker-dealer registration provision of the federal securities law are amongst the charges included in the filing, the SEC Complaint notes.

What is more, a federal judge has purportedly ordered a temporary asset freeze against Shapiro and his investment companies and also ordered them to account for investor money, the Complaint notes.

The SEC gave details of the case, saying that Woodbridge allegedly claimed to run a loan business that would deliver pay investors investment returns of up to 10 percent per annum, the SEC Complaint states.

In truth, however, Woodbridge allegedly operated a vintage Ponzi scheme wherein older investors were allegedly paid off with money put in by newer investors, the SEC Complaint notes.

Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, has made the following statement:

“We allege that, through aggressive tactics, Woodbridge and Shapiro swindled seniors into a business model built on lies, which the SEC’s Miami Regional Office staff moved to halt.”

Meanwhile, Steven Peikin, another co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division, also states that Woodbridge’s business model was allegedly a “sham” and that Woodbridge was unable to pay investor dividends and interest payments sans new investor money, according to the SEC.

Shapiro Allegedly Used a Web of Layered Companies to Hide His Ownership Interest in Third-party Borrowers; The SEC is Allegedly Seeking Ill-gotten Gains with Interest and Financial Penalties

Robert Shapiro and Woodbridge allegedly implemented a a web of layered companies to hide his ownership interest in the purported third-party borrowers, according to the aforementioned SEC Complaint under review by attorneys Joe Peiffer and James Booker.

What is more, Shapiro allegedly used the scheme for personal use and put millions into his coffers, the Complaint notes. The SEC further reports that the aforementioned scheme allegedly collapsed in classic Ponzi fashion in early December as Woodbridge ceased paying investors and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to the SEC.

In sum, the SEC alleges that Shapiro allegedly diverted $21 million for his own benefit, including to charter planes, pay country club fees and buy luxury vehicles and jewelry, the SEC notes. Furthermore, Woodbridge also allegedly paid $64.5 million in commissions to sales agents for marketing these investments as “low risk” and “conservative” investments, the SEC notes.

The SEC further alleges that Woodbridge’s business model was allegedly constructed on lies, and also allegedly targeted senior citizens, according to Stephanie Avian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

Finally, the SEC is purportedly seeking a return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest and financial penalties, and a court hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 29, 2017 on the SEC’s request to continue the asset freeze, the SEC Complaint reports.

Securities Lawyers Investigating

The Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane securities lawyers often represent investors who lose money as a result of investment-related fraud or misconduct and are currently investigating Robert Shapiro and Woodbridge Group’s alleged Ponzi scheme. They take most cases of this type on a contingency fee basis and advance the case costs, and only get paid for their fees and costs out of money they recover for their clients.

The Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane securities lawyers represent investors with millions of dollars of claims, have been assisting them in the Woodbridge bankruptcy proceedings, and are evaluating a number of recovery options on their behalf. Investors who believe they lost money as a result of Robert Shapiro and Woodbridge Group’s alleged Ponzi scheme may contact the securities lawyers at Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane, Joe Peiffer or James Booker, for a free no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 216-589-9280 or via e-mail at jpeiffer@prwlegal.com or jbooker@prwlegal.com.