The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil charges against a number of companies and brokers who illegally sold Woodbridge Group of Companies securities to retail investors. Woodbridge, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year, its owner Robert H. Shapiro, and several others have since been charged with running a $1.2B Ponzi scam that defrauded nearly 8,500 investors. Many of their victims were older investors who together took almost $400M out of their IRA to invest in the securities.
Now, the SEC is charging 13 unregistered brokers that were among the top sellers of Woodbridge securities. Collectively, they allegedly sold over $350M in the unregistered securities to more than 4,400 investors. The regulator contends that the defendants promoted the Woodbridge securities as “safe” investments, making millions of dollars in commissions from the sales even though they were not registered brokers or even affiliated with a registered brokerage firm and should never have sold the Woodbridge investments to begin with. The brokers named in the SEC broker fraud case include:
• Robert S. Davis, Jr., the VP of Old Securities Financial Group