Are you a noteholder, unitholder, or investor in Woodbridge Wealth / Group of Companies?
Looking for the latest updates on the impending Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Interested in the latest lawsuit news? Wanting an update on when your settlement payments will arrive? Look no further.
Welcome to ‘Lessons Learned’, a website designed to help provide the latest news, updates, and insider information to help those affected by Woodbridge Wealth’s Ponzi scheme.
As someone who was impacted by this disaster, I hope this resource helps answer your questions and give you clarity.
- What Happened?
- Timeline of Events
- Latest News
Last Updated: September 20, 2019
Numerous investors, including hedge fund managers and financial professionals with decades of experience, fell victim to a lending scam spearheaded by the Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC (Woodbridge Wealth/Woodbridge Investments), a luxury real estate developer based in greater Los Angeles.
Greg W. Anderson was one of the affected parties, as were many other people, including elderly retirees. In all, over 8000 people were affected by the scam, described as a Ponzi scheme by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC sued Woodbridge over the $1.2 billion scheme, and the company subsequently filed bankruptcy.
This website was created to provide a clearinghouse of information on the scheme, its legal journey in federal and state courts. The website also serves as a resource for the victims of this money scam, providing details on when those victims may receive financial compensation and recovery funds.
The goal of the site is to help these victims recover from the financial disaster the situation created and to restore trust in the financial services market. Continue reading to learn more about the situation and how to ensure a quick recovery of your funds.
Much progress has been made on the legal case against Woodbridge Group of Companies. Here is a timeline of the different components of the case, including how the original scam occurred and what victims can do to recover funds lost in the scam.
2014 – The Ponzi Programs Start
Woodbridge issued promissory notes to investors promising steady returns on secured loans. In exchange for funds used to loan to commercial property owners, investors were promised between 5 and 7% annual interest, far exceeding typically secured returns. These mid-single digit interest gains on lent dollars attracted thousands of investors. Learn more
Mid-2017 – Programs Come Into Question
Later in its life cycle, the company began paying these interest payments on the initial lenders from the new money coming in to keep what had developed into a Ponzi or ‘Ponzi-like’ scheme. More than 8400 investors were promised returns.
December 2017 – Robert H. Shapiro and Woodbridge Charged
The SEC’s thorough investigation brought charges against Robert Shapiro and Woodbridge for a 1.2 billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Shapiro was found to be violating antifraud and other security provisions.
August 2018 – Two Woodbridge Consultants are Charged
Barry Kornfield and Ferne Kornfield of Parkland, Florida, were charged by the SEC for their alleged role in soliciting investors to place their savings in a Woodbridge Plan. They were stated to have earned $3.7 million in commissions with their sales of the unregistered securities. Some invested as much as $1 million in Woodbridge loans. Kornfield claims to have no knowledge of the shady nature of Woodbridge and was convinced they were sound products. Source
November 2018 – The Chapter 11 Rehabilitation Plan
After Woodbridge filed bankruptcy, the case went to various state and federal courts. In Delaware’s state bankruptcy court good news was to be had for lenders and investors. The court approved the company’s rehabilitation plan, giving real estate managers the ability to complete the marketing and sale of properties to generate compensation funds for the victims of the original scam. Learn more
November 2018 – Rehab Plan Confirmed by State Court
After a bit of legal wrangling and a ballot completed by victims, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court formally confirmed and adopted the rehabilitation plan. While appeals to certain parts of the case are pending, this is further progress in the case. Learn more
November 2018 – SEC Agreement Sweetens the Rehabilitation Funding Pot
The SEC reached an agreement in the Chapter 11 Rehabilitation Plan. In the agreement, original scam developer Robert Shapiro promised to pay a total of $125 million in various penalties. While not all of this money will go towards funding the rehab plan, over $100 million will be signaling to Noteholders & investors that they may soon recoup some of the money they lost in the scam. Learn more
December 2018 – Information Updates for Victims
The case against Woodbridge has spanned courts on the federal and state levels and has dragged on for a bit over a year. Because victims of the scam may have changing life circumstances, it is important that they have the means to update the courts with new information. Click here to update your information
December 2018 – Cash Distributions in 2019
A Federal bankruptcy court issued an order confirming the liquidation plan of Woodbridge. Lawyers representing the company indicated that the company would emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and may begin paying cash distributions to victims of the Ponzi scheme as soon as the first quarter of 2019. Learn more
January 2019 – Rehabilitation Trust News from CEO Fred Chen
Fred Chen is the CEO of the rehabilitation trust set up to compensate victims of the Woodbridge scam. According to Mr. Chen, property transactions have begun to close and this may result in insufficient funding to bring the company out of bankruptcy. Sales may also provide funding to compensate scam victims by January or February of 2019. There are still pending legal cases, including several appeals and lawsuits associated with the bankruptcy filing. Learn more
January 28, 2019 – Shapiro Fined $100 Million by SEC
According to a press release from the SEC released 1/28/19, a federal court in Florida ordered Shapiro to pay a $100,000,000 fine and totaled $1,000,000,000 in penalties.
February 15, 2019 – Initial Cash Distribution Aimed for March
Woodbridge Group of Companies, LLC announced that it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy following confirmation of its liquidation plan. They also announced that it is targeting an initial cash distribution to take place on or before 3/31/19. We will have a full report soon.
March 20, 2019 – Distribution Confirmed for First Quarter
An insider has confirmed that the first distribution of funds will indeed occur in the first quarter of 2019 (April at the latest). The exact date has not been confirmed as of yet. Learn more
April 3, 2019 – First Checks Begin to Come In
An individual confirmed to Anderson that he received a distribution check from the Rehabilitation Trust in the mail. Have you received yours yet? Learn more
April 4, 2019 – Self Directed IRAs with Custodians
If you have yet to receive your check from the trust, be patient. Custodians will take 5 or so days to be deposited into everyone’s IRAs. Learn more
April 5, 2019 – Progress
The Ponzi is finally starting to unwind. Real estate sales are in full swing and driving the rehab trust efforts. Learn more
April 15, 2019 – Additional Charges Brought to Key Players
Both Ivan Acevedo and Dane Roseman were arrested on April 11, 2019, for their role in the Woodbridge $2 billion Ponzi scheme. Learn more
May 8, 2019 – Source: August is Likely For Next Cash Distribution
Greg anticipates that August is realistic for the next cash distribution. Lower value real estate has been sold off. Learn more
June 7, 2019 – Falling Mortgage Rates
Positive news for note or unit holders. Mortgage rates continue to fall nationwide, encouraging real estate to be sold at a faster rate. Learn more
June 20, 2019 – Good for Real Estate
Similar to the last update, interest rates appear to be dropping this summer, opening up the door for larger real estate purchases. Learn more
July 11, 2019 – Liquidity Soon!
The goal of creating a liquidity route for impacted investors is getting closer. Learn more
July 18, 2019 – Next Distribution
An email exchange with a contact at the bankruptcy trust claimed ‘end of July’ (this was back in May). However, things are rolling, it appears fall is more likely. Learn more
August 5, 2019 – Update on activity and timing
Real estate sales slow because of Woodbridge’s bankruptcy filing. Learn more
August 6, 2019 – Robert Shapiro Goes to Jail
Shapiro appears to be reaching an agreement with Dep. of Justice on jail, forefeiture of assets, and more. Learn more
September 18, 2019 – Distribution
Still no firm timeline for next distribution. It was said to be around September. Learn more
September 20, 2019 – Update on Distibution
From Michael Goldberg, the manager of the bankruptcy trust: “Should be public within 60 days. Working on fixing/selling homes. Exact date of next distribution unknown.” Learn more
More updates will be provided as they arise. Don’t forget to follow the blog for updates.