Woodbridge Group and Robert Shapiro Allegedly Orchestrated a $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme which Reportedly Sought Mainstream Investors

Robert Shapiro and Woodbridge Group, a group of unregistered investment companies headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, allegedly carried out an enormous Ponzi scheme that allegedly siphoned $1.2 billion from thousands of Main Street investors, are now subject to an asset freeze by the SEC, according to an SEC Complaint currently under review by attorney Alan Rosca.

Attorney Rosca, of the RoscaLaw LLC firm, is investigating Woodbridge Group and Robert Shapiro’s alleged Ponzi scheme. Investors who believe they may have lost money in activity related to Woodbridge Group and Robert Shapiro’s alleged Ponzi scheme are encouraged to contact attorney Alan Rosca with any useful information or for a free, no obligation discussion about their options.

Shapiro, of Sherman Oaks, California and Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC’s alleged Ponzi scheme, in sum, purportedly defrauded over 8,400 investors in unregistered Woodbridge funds, and its business model was allegedly propped up with falsehoods, and also allegedly targeted senior citizens, according to Stephanie Avian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

Woodbridge and Shapiro also allegedly promoted its central business as loan issuance to so-called third-party commercial property owners which delivered Woodbridge 11-15% annual interest for “hard money,” short-term financing, the SEC Complaint notes. Shapiro also allegedly set up a detailed system of layered companies to purportedly hide his ownership interest in the alleged third-party borrowers, the SEC Complaint notes.

In order to keep investors from seeking to “cash out” at the conclusion of their Woodbridge investment, and allegedly pushed them to keep their money with Shapiro, the SEC reports. For example, the following marketing materials were quite common: “Clients keep coming back to [Woodbridge] because time and experience have proven results.  Over 90% national renewal rate!”

The reality of the scheme was a reportedly stark contrast. Shapiro and Woodbridge allegedly paid new investors with initial investments and also allegedly dished out payments of $64.5 million in commissions to sales agents who allegedly made advertisements and claims that Woodbridge investments were “low risk” and “conservative”, the Complaint notes. Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, has made the following statement which promotes the idea that Woodbridge was allegedly a Ponzi scheme:

“The only way Woodbridge was able to pay investors their dividends and interest payments was through the constant infusion of new investor money.”

Shapiro Allegedly Siphoned as Much as $21 Million for His Own Personal Use; Woodbridge Allegedly Collapsed in December 2017 and Filed for Chapter 11

Woodbridge’s alleged Ponzi scheme reportedly collapsed in familiar Ponzi style in early December of 2017 as Shapiro and Woodbridge reportedly ceased paying investors and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to the aforementioned SEC Complaint currently under review by attorney Alan Rosca.

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

Shapiro, in sum, allegedly moved up to $21 million for his own purported personal use and benefit, including country clubs, charter planes, and luxury vehicles and jewelry, the SEC reports. Much of the money was also spent on 138 high-end properties in California and Colorado and operating expenses, the SEC states.

What is more, the Honorable Judge Marcia G. Cooke has cooperated with the SEC and has allegedly granted the SEC’s request for a temporary asset freeze against Shapiro and a group of his unregistered investment companies, and has also allegedly ordered them to provide accounting statements for all money received from investors, the SEC Complaint states.

Securities Lawyer Investigating

The RoscaLaw firm represents investors who lose money as a result of investment-related fraud or misconduct and are currently investigating Woodbridge Group and Robert Shapiro’s alleged Ponzi scheme. The firm takes most cases of this type on a contingency fee basis and advance the case costs, and only gets paid for their fees and costs out of money recovered for clients.

Attorney Alan Rosca, a securities lawyer and adjunct professor of securities regulation, has represented thousands of victimized investors across the country and around the world in cases ranging from arbitrations to class actions, and has helped recover tens of millions of dollars on behalf of investors.

Investors who believe they lost money as a result of Woodbridge Group and Robert Shapiro’s alleged Ponzi scheme may contact attorney Alan Rosca for a free no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 888-998- 0530, via email at arosca@roscalaw.com, or through the contact form on this webpage.

filed under: Investigations

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