Sonn Law Group Investor Alert
November 8, 2017 – Woodbridge Group Officials Take the 5th Amendment Against Self-Incrimination
Woodbridge Group President, Robert Shapiro, via a March 27, 2017 letter to the SEC from his attorney Ryan O’Quinn, Esq., stated that “Upon consideration of the SEC’s investigative subpoenas and a review with counsel of the individual rights afforded by the United States Constitution, Mr. Shapiro will rely on his constitutional privilege to refuse to be a witness against himself.”
Click here to learn more
Currently, the dedicated investment fraud attorneys at Sonn Law Group are investigating any and all allegations of misconduct by Woodbridge Wealth, a California-based firm.
Woodbridge Wealth is the successor company to Woodbridge Structured Funding, LLC, and it sells structured financial products to investors, often through intermediary brokers. Here, we highlight some notable past history of investor complaints and legal sanctions that have been brought against this firm.
COMPLAINTS AGAINST WOODBRIDGE WEALTH (WOODBRIDGE STRUCTURED FUNDING)
VIOLATION OF PENNSYLVANIA SECURITIES LAW
In April of 2017, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Securities Compliance and Examinations entered into an agreement with Woodbridge Wealth, to settle allegations of securities industry misconduct.
According to Pennsylvania state officials, Woodbridge Wealth was selling complex structured settlement products in the state, in direct violation of the state’s securities regulations. Proper registration is required to sell these types of products to retail investors.
However, Pennsylvania financial regulators determined that Woodbridge Wealth was selling unregistered securities. This is a major legal violation, and it puts investors at risk.
To settle the charges with the state of Pennsylvania, the company agreed to pay a $30,000 fine. Though, Woodbridge Wealth did not admit to or deny any wrongdoing in the course of offering structured settlements to investors in Pennsylvania.
BROKER NEGLIGENCE: WOODBRIDGE WEALTH NOTE SALES
In May of 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) suspended Frank John Capuano (CRD#: 844182), a registered broker from western Massachusetts, after he improperly sold Woodbridge Wealth notes to investors.
At that time of the misconduct, Mr. Capuano was employed at Royal Alliance Associates, a broker-deal with an office in Holyoke, Massachusetts. According to the complaint against Mr. Capuano, he sold more than $1 million worth of Woodbridge notes, taking in $30,000 in commissions for himself, even though the mortgage notes in question did not meet the standards required by his member firm.
Unfortunately, this has been a recurring problem with this company’s products. If you purchased Woodbridge Wealth notes or any other Woodbridge created structured financial product at the recommendation of your registered investment advisor (RIA), and now you believe that the investment was inappropriate, you need to take action.
THE UNLAWFUL SALE OF REGISTERED SECURITIES TO ELDERLY INVESTORS
In May of 2015, Massachusetts state regulators charged a non-registered individual named Charles Nilosek and his firm, Position Benefits, LLC, with fraud. These charges were brought after it was determined that the firm was marketing and selling unregistered securities to vulnerable elderly investors.
According to the legal complaint from the state of Massachusetts, Mr. Nilosek and his company sold more than $4 million in unregistered securities to more than 140 unqualified individuals. These securities should not have been sold in the first place, let alone to these elderly investors.
According to the complaint, Mr. Nilosek and his company Position Benefits, LLC used classic “bait and switch” tactics to market these very complex, unregistered financial products to retirees and near retirees. Most notably, investors were informed that they were being offered a product that came with a guaranteed return. In reality, there was no guaranteed return, or anything else close to it.
This case is tied directly to Woodbridge Wealth, because investigators determined that the company, which was operating as Woodbridge Structured Funding at that time, had originally created the securities that were then being marketed and sold unlawfully by to Position Benefits, LLC. In relation to this case, Massachusetts state officials issued a $250,000 fine against Woodbridge Wealth.
WERE YOU A VICTIM OF INVESTMENT FRAUD GENERALLY?
Elder financial abuse is a very serious problem. Sadly, many unscrupulous brokers and brokerage firms try to take advantage of vulnerable retiree investors. Our firm has deep experience handling elder financial fraud cases.
If you or your loved one was a victim of elder financial fraud, either through a Woodbridge Wealth product, or any other financial product, action must be taken. All individuals and companies that take advantage of elderly investors must be held fully accountable for their misconduct.
Our legal team can help. At Sonn Law Group, our investor losses attorneys have extensive experience holding bad-acting brokers and broker-dealers legally liable.
If you lost money investing in a Woodbridge Wealth financial product or Woodbridge Structured Funding, LLC financial product, please call us today at 833-912-3000 for a free review of your claim. We take on all investment fraud cases on a contingency basis; that means we only collect a legal fee if we win your case.