Woodbridge Group’s Former Chief Executive Robert Shapiro Sued by SEC for Allegedly Orchestrating a $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme wherein Shapiro Allegedly Lied to Investors, Signed False Documents and Delivered Ponzi-like Payments to Investors
Robert Shapiro, the former chief executive of Woodbridge Group, has been sued by the SEC for allegedly operating a Ponzi scheme which raised over $1 billion from individual investors for the currently bankrupt real estate entity, according to an SEC Complaint currently under review by attorneys Alan Rosca and James Booker.
Peiffer Rosca Wolf 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 Alan Rosca or James Booker with any useful information or for a free, no obligation discussion about their options.
The SEC alleges that Shapiro allegedly told lies to investors, signed and falsified documents and made “Ponzi payments to investors,” in addition to using investor funds for his own personal enjoyment, in addition to a host of other alleged wrongs, according to papers unsealed Thursday in a Florida federal court.
Woodbridge allegedly filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Dec. 4 and its purported financial woes have allegedly put the savings of thousands of people into jeopardy, according to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal. What is more, Shapiro’s assets have been frozen by the SEC, including RS Protection Trust, a family trust that owns the Woodbridge Group of Companies, according to court reports from Delaware.
Shapiro allegedly orchestrated a system that moved investor funds in a circular fashion around Woodbridge, thus creating an allegedly false image that the company was financing acquisitions of property by legitimate third-party borrowers, who would pay interest, according to the SEC Complaint.
Said organizational structure allegedly kept the money moving into Woodbridge, but only a small portion of the borrowers were third-parties, according to the SEC. In addition, a majority of the properties were under the ownership of shell companies allegedly created by Shapiro, entities which allegedly had no revenues or ability to pay interest, the SEC reports.
This is where the alleged Ponzi-like payments come in, as investors which wanted to exit from their Woodbridge investment were allegedly paid off with money from new investors, the SEC alleges.
In the meantime, the SEC alleges, Shapiro and affiliates allegedly paid enormous sales commissions of up to $64.5 million in total to unregistered agents that sold the Woodbridge securities, the SEC reports.
What is more, Shapiro allegedly used up to $21 million of investor funds for personal use including luxury vehicles and jewelry and chartering planes, the SEC notes.
The SEC Purportedly Seeks an Injunction to Stop Shapiro from Further Violations of Federal Securities; Woodbridge Claims it has Stopped Selling Securities Prior to its Bankruptcy and Holds no Plans to Continue Sales
The SEC is allegedly seeking an injunction to stop Shapiro from continuing to make further violations of federal securities laws, and Woodbridge Group allegedly says it has stopped selling securities before the bankruptcy filing and does not plan to continue making further sales, according to the aforementioned SEC Complaint being reviewed by attorneys Alan Rosca and James Booker.
Some securities regulators have allegedly publicly announced concerns that Shapiro designed Woodbridge’s chapter 11 proceeding, as the SEC investigation into the company’s securities sales grew stronger, the SEC notes.
Lawyers for the SEC made the following statements in a Dec. 7 filing in federal court in Florida:
“Mr. Shapiro had the ability to do as he pleased with Woodbridge and all of its affiliates and subsidiaries by virtue of his position as Trustee of the Shapiro Trust and President of Woodbridge.Woodbridge controlled every decision it made in setting up the bankruptcy, all facilitated by Mr. Shapiro.”
Securities Lawyers Investigating
The Peiffer Rosca Wolf 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 Rosca Wolf 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 Rosca Wolf, Alan Rosca or James Booker, for a free no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 888-998-0520 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.