Robert H. Shapiro, Woodbridge former CEO, reportedly sentenced to 25 Years in Prison.
According to reports yesterday, former Woodbridge Group owner and CEO Robert H. Shapiro was reportedly sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison for orchestrating an alleged Ponzi scheme that raised $1.3 billion from more than 8,000 investors, resulting in approximately $470 million in losses to them.
In August, Shapiro reportedly pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion in Miami and reportedly consented to pay $120 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil claims related to the alleged Woodbridge Ponzi scheme.
The company reportedly sold securities through seminars and television advertising, purportedly paying $64.5 million in commissions to these sales agents who advertised the investments as “conservative.” Many of the brokers who profited by selling Woodbridge offerings to investors have since been charged with injunctions, fines and penalties in the matter, according to reports.
Many of the investors were senior citizens who were reportedly promised interest of up to 8 percent, according to the SEC’s complaint.
Woodbridge also reportedly claimed it made high-interest loans to third parties, in reality, most of borrowers were purportedly companies owned by Shapiro that had no income and never made interest payments on the loans.
The company allegedly used investors’ money to pay other investors, in typical Ponzi scheme fashion, and Shapiro purportedly kept close to $21 million for himself to fund his lavish lifestyle with private charter planes, country club dues, political contributions, luxury vehicles and jewelry.
In December 2018, the scheme fell apart and Woodbridge filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
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