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Court orders $1B judgment against operators of Woodbridge Ponzi scheme

Jaclyn Jaeger | February 6, 2019

A federal court in Florida has ordered Woodbridge Group of Companies and its former owner to pay $1 billion in penalties and disgorgement for operating a Ponzi scheme that targeted retail investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced.

Judge Marcia Cooke of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida approved judgments against Woodbridge and its 281 related companies ordering them to pay $892 million in disgorgement. The court ordered former owner and CEO Robert Shapiro to pay a $100 million civil penalty and to disgorge $18.5 million in ill-gotten gains, plus $2.1 million in prejudgment interest.

In December 2017, the SEC filed an emergency action charging the company and other defendants with operating a massive $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme that defrauded 8,400 retail investors nationwide, many of them seniors who...

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