SEC Charges Two Former Woodbridge Directors With Investment Fraud
On April 11th, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed investment fraud charges against two former Woodbridge directors — Ivan Acevedo and Dane R. Roseman. In addition to facing charges from the SEC, both men are also facing criminal charges for their role in perpetuating the company’s massive Ponzi scheme.
In a legal complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the SEC alleges that these two former directors helped the company fraudulently raise approximately $1.2 billion from more than 8,400 investors in Florida and throughout the country. Here, our Miami Ponzi scheme lawyers provide an overview of the SEC’s complaint against Mr. Acevedo and Mr. Roseman.
The Woodbridge Ponzi Scheme
In late 2017, federal regulators exposed Woodbridge as a billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Through a large web of interconnected companies, Woodbridge sold fraudulent unregistered securities to investors. While these investments were presented as safe and reliable, the vast majority of the money obtained from investors was simply shifted around to keep the scheme afloat. In fact, the SEC alleges that Woodbridge was a Ponzi scheme from its inception as a company.
First Position Commercial Mortgages (FPCM) Notes
Among the core products offered by Woodbridge was its First Position Commercial Mortgage Notes or FPCMs. According to the representations made to investors, Woodbridge packaged FPCMs by making loans to reliable third-party commercial property owners. The loans were secured by a first-position commercial lien on the related commercial real estate. Investors were told that these short-term loans offered a safe, reliable, and above market return. In reality, the FPCM notes were wholly fraudulent. Very few commercial loans were ever actually made to third parties.
Investment Fraud Charges
The SEC has filed civil investment fraud charges against former Woodbridge directors Ivan Acevedo and Dane R. Roseman. Along with the company’s CEO Robert H. Shapiro, the agency contends that Mr. Acevedo and Mr. Roseman intentionally orchestrated and carried out the fraud. Among other things, these two men were in charge of running the company’s “boiler room”. In doing so, they focused on aggressively marketing and selling the unregistered, fraudulent Woodbridge securities to retail investors. Sadly, many of these investors were senior citizens who were looking for safe, conservative investments to support them in retirement.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking all remedies deemed appropriate by the court. To start, the agency wants a permanent injunction to be placed against both defendants. In addition, the SEC is also requesting that the court orders the disgorgement of any ill-gotten profits and the imposition of civil monetary penalties. Notably, there are also criminal charges pending against Mr. Acevedo and Mr. Roseman.
Speak to Our Miami Ponzi Scheme Attorneys Today
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., we have the skills and experience needed to represent victims of Ponzi schemes. If you or your loved one lost money in Woodbridge or any other Ponzi scheme, our securities fraud lawyers are here to help. To arrange a free, no obligation investor losses consultation, please call our Miami law office today.