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SEC charges 13 brokers for illegally selling Woodbridge securities to investors


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SEC charges 13 brokers for illegally selling Woodbridge securities to investors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged 13 individuals and 10 companies for unlawfully selling securities of Woodbridge Group of Co. LLC to retail investors.

According to the SEC, the 13 individual defendants charged were among Woodbridge's top revenue producers and sold more than $350 million of its unregistered securities to more than 4,400 investors.

According to the complaints, the defendants, among other things, marketed Woodbridge's securities as a safe and secure investment and garnered millions of dollars in commissions on their sales even though they were not registered as, or associated with, registered broker/dealers, said the SEC.

The individuals and companies against which the SEC is seeking court-ordered injunctions, return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest, and financial penalties are Robert Davis Jr., Donald Mackenzie, Jordan Goodman, Aaron Andrew, Jeffrey Wendel, Alan New, David Knuth, Randy Rondberg, Richard Fritts, Marcus Bray, Gregory Anderson, Claude Mosley, Gregory Koch, Old Security Financial Group Inc., Paramount Financial Services Inc. doing business as Live Abundant, Wendel Financial Network LLC, Synergy Investment Services LLC, Trager LLC, Fritts Financial LLC, Bradford Solutions LLC, Balanced Financial Inc., Security Financial LLC, and Koch Insurance Brokers LLC.

Goodman, without admitting or denying the allegations, settled the SEC's charges and agreed to disgorgement of $2.29 million plus prejudgment interest of $315,850 and a $100,000 penalty, along with being subject to an injunction, and industry and penny-stock bars.

Also, New, Knuth and Synergy Investment settled the SEC's charges without admitting or denying the allegations with the court to determine disgorgement, interest and penalties at a later date.

The regulator in December 2017 charged Robert Shapiro and Woodbridge for allegedly defrauding more than 8,400 investors in a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

The SEC also reached settlements in its previously filed action against Florida-based sales agents Barry Kornfeld, Ferne Kornfeld and Albert Klager. The three, without admitting or denying the allegations, agreed to a permanent injunction, and industry and penny-stock bars.

The Kornfelds agreed to disgorgement of $3.69 million along with $690,497 in prejudgment interest. In addition, Barry Kornfeld agreed to a $500,000 penalty, while Ferne Kornfeld agreed to a $150,000 penalty. Klager agreed to $1.36 million in disgorgement, $278,908 in prejudgment interest, and a $100,000 penalty.