SEC charges Florida-based fund owner over $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme


The seal of the US Securities and Exchange Commission hangs on the wall at SEC headquarters in Washington, DC, US on June 24, 2011. Photo:  Reuters

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a Florida-based group of unregistered investment companies and its owner for allegedly operating a $1.2 billion (USD) Ponzi scheme that targeted seniors among other investors, the agency said on Thursday.

Woodbridge Group of Companies and its owner, Robert Shapiro, had allegedly “defrauded more than 8,400 investors in unregistered Woodbridge funds” and “swindled seniors into a business model built on lies” using “aggressive tactics,” Stephanie Avakian, co-director of SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement.