It happened over the radio, over the internet, in TV ads and in retirement classes at a Florida university. “Safe and secure” investments were doled out to unsuspecting investors looking to make a steady return, but those securities were fraudulent. Now, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has gotten involved, and many Floridians may be discovering that they were the victims of a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
Did You Buy Woodbridge Securities from Unregistered Brokers?
On Monday, August 20th, the SEC filed complaints accusing five people and four companies of selling unregistered securities to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. These securities were for Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC, a bankrupt financial group the SEC charged with running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme last year.
The accused allegedly used TV ads, internet ads, radio ads, and newspapers to draw in their victims. One of the accused is even suspected of using his radio show as a platform to sell these securities. None of these suspects were registered brokers and at least one was previously barred from being a broker by the SEC.
The SEC estimates that more than $243 million worth of Woodbridge securities were sold, generating $5.8 million in commissions for these defendants. More than 1,600 retail investors are suspected to have fallen victim to this securities scheme.
The SEC is now seeking the return of this group’s ill-gotten gains with interest. At least one of the accused has settled for $1 million plus $100,000 in civil fines. . Consulting with investment fraud attorneys, like the experienced counsel at Colson Hicks Eidson, will allow you to understand your rights if you are a victim of this scheme.