The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently sought documents form a group of companies known as Woodbridge that has previously been accused of selling unregistered securities by state securities regulators. Woodbridge, based in California, has reportedly raised over $1 billion from investors- allegedly by offering the sale of unregistered securities through unregistered brokers. Woodbridge and its agents have also been sanctioned by multiple state regulators for allegedly offering unregistered securities, including a 2015 cease-and-desist order by Massachusetts, a cease-and-desist order against Woodbridge Fund 3 and principal Robert Shapiro imposed by Texas in 2015, and a 2016 complaint filed by Arizona regulators.
Most recently, Colorado regulators reportedly have opened an investigation into Colorado-based alleged Woodbridge brokers including James Campbell of Campbell Financial Group in Woodland Park, and Timothy McGuire of Highlands Ranch. Woodbridge has reportedly raised $57 million from 450 Colorado investors and continues to solicit investors through online and radio advertising.
Some FINRA-registered stockbrokers and financial advisors have also allegedly sold unregistered Woodbridge securities to clients, including Frank Capuano, who was registered with Royal Alliance Associates in Holyoke, MA. Capuano was alleged to have sold over $1,000,000 of the private notes to Royal Alliance customers and received over $30,000 in commissions.
Despite the regulatory actions, Woodbridge reportedly continues to sell securities. Some of the issuers of Woodbridge securities are the following:
* WMF Management, LLC
* Woodbridge Group of Companies, LLC
* Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund 1, LLC
* Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund 2, LLC
* Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund 3, LLC
* Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Fund PA, LLC
* Woodbridge Group of Companies, LLC (d/b/a Woodbridge Wealth)
As members and associated persons of FINRA, brokerage firms and their financial advisors must ensure that adequate due diligence is performed on any investment that is recommended to investors- including private placements under Regulation D. Further, firms and their brokers must ensure that investors are informed of the risks associated with an investment, and must conduct a suitability analysis to determine if an investment meets an investor’s stated investment objectives and risk profile. Either an unsuitable recommendation to purchase an investment or a misrepresentation concerning the nature and characteristics of the investment may give rise to a claim against a stockbroker or financial advisor.
The attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. have significant experience in representing investors who have incurred losses in connection with private placement offerings, including investments in oil and gas drilling funds and hedge funds. Investors may contact our office at (866) 966-9598 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost, confidential consultation.