Investors in Woodbridge Units or Notes, as further defined below, who purchased a Woodbridge investment based upon a recommendation by former financial advisor Alan Harold New (CRD# 2892508) may be able to recover losses through securities arbitration. Publicly available information through FINRA BrokerCheck indicates that Alan New was formerly affiliated with broker-dealer NYLife Securities LLC (“NYLife”) (CRD# 5167) in their Fort Wayne, IN office, from June 2004 – August 2016.
As recently reported, the Woodbridge Group of Companies, LLC (“Woodbridge”) and certain of its affiliated entities filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Case No. 17-12560-KJC) on December 4, 2017. Beginning as early as 2012, Woodbridge and its affiliates offered securities nationwide to numerous retail investors through a network of in-house promoters, unlicensed advisors, as well as various licensed financial advisors, including Mr. New. Woodbridge investments essentially came in two forms: (1) so-called “Units” that consisted of subscriptions agreements for the purchase of an equity interest in one of Woodbridge’s Delaware limited liability companies, and (2) “Notes” or what have commonly been referred to as “First Position Commercial Mortgages” or “FPCMs” that consisted of lending agreements underlying purported hard money loans on real estate deals.
As alleged by the SEC, Woodbridge and its owner and former CEO, Mr. Robert Shapiro, purportedly “used his web of more than 275 Limited Liability Companies to conduct a massive Ponzi scheme raising more than $1.22 billion from over 8,400 unsuspecting investors nationwide through fraudulent unregistered securities offerings.” According to Steven Peiken, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, the Woodbridge “[b]usiness model was a sham. The only way that Woodbridge was able to pay investors their dividends and interest payments was through the constant infusion of new investor money.”
As indicated through FINRA BrokerCheck, Alan New currently has five (5) pending customer disputes. Each of these disputes center on similar allegations concerning Mr. New’s alleged involvement in recommending “[u]nregistered and fraudulent investments in Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund.” Brokerage firms including NYLife have an affirmative obligation to ensure that their registered representatives are adequately supervised. Consequently, brokerage firms must take reasonable steps to ensure that their registered representatives follow all applicable securities rules and regulations, as well as adhere to the firm’s internal policies and procedures. In those instances when brokerage firms fail to adequately supervise their brokers, they may be held liable for losses sustained by investors.
Under FINRA Rule 3280, if a financial advisor wishes to consummate a private securities transaction, then he or she must first provide the firm with prior written notice, detailing the contemplated transaction. Such a transaction must first be approved by the firm. Furthermore, in the event that the transaction is not approved by the firm, then the broker cannot participate in the transaction.
The attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. have significant experience representing investors in disputes involving broker misconduct, including claims concerning sales of risky, illiquid and opaque financial products. Investors may contact a securities arbitration attorney via the contact form on this website, by telephone at (866) 966-9598, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost, confidential consultation.