SEC $1.2bn Woodbridge Ponzi

On Apr. 11, SEC, DoJ charged Woodbridge owner in $1.2bn Ponzi.

  • Two former Woodbridge Group directors Ivan Acevedo and Dane Roseman were
    arrested and charged by authorities, with the Woodbridge owner Robert Shapiro.
  • Follows SEC Jan. 2019 court order to Woodbridge pay $1bn settlement, #52374.
  • Charged with conspiracy for mail and wire fraud, money laundering, tax evasion.


  • Although firm were unregistered in any capacity with SEC, they were responsible
    for fraudulently raising at least $1.2 billion from more than 8,400 retail investors.
  • Ran scheme through Woodbridge, offices across US, including Florida, California.
  • Targeting elderly investors who had IRAs), with speculative, fraudulent securities.
  • Issued investors promissory notes, on purported loans to Woodbridge, that paid
    monthly interest and matured in 12-18 months, tied to real third-party property.
  • The defendants received over $3mn, transaction-based and other compensation.
  • Acevedo oversaw fundraising for Woodbridge Securities from 2012-15, when left.
  • Defendants hired and trained the sales force, also approved marketing materials
    and sales scripts, that helped create appearance that Woodbridge was legitimate.
  • In reality, was Ponzi scheme that used money from new investors to pay existing.

Sanctions Sought

  • Shapiro caused most of the Woodbridge companies to file chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Caused investors to suffer substantial losses, were owed close to $1bn principal.
  • 2,600 investor victims invested their retirement savings, totaling about $400mn.
  • DoJ said Shapiro is detained in prison, Roseman and Acevedo to appear in court.
  • SEC sought disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with interest, and financial penalties.