The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday it had barred a former senior executive at the Woodbridge Group of Companies, Ivan Acevedo, from working in the securities industry.
Acevedo, who’s 44, pleaded guilty last summer to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for his role in the $1.3 billion Woodbridge real estate scheme and is currently in federal custody, according to the SEC.
Acevedo and Dane Roseman were both sales managers for Woodbridge at different times between 2013 and 2017, and last month they settled civil charges with the commission for $3.75 million.
They worked for Robert Shapiro, Woodbridge’s CEO, who in 2019 received the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison for running a $1.3 billion fraud that caused more than 7,000 retirees and other investors to lose money.
Shapiro, of Sherman Oaks, California, promised returns as high as 10% on investments in loans to property developers. Instead, he used money from new investors to repay earlier ones and spent $36 million on luxury homes, wines, paintings and custom-designed jewelry for his wife.
As sales managers, Roseman and Acevedo sold Woodbridge securities and trained and supervised Woodbridge internal sales agents who sold Woodbridge securities, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Using high-pressure sales tactics, Shapiro, Roseman, Acevedo and others marketed and promoted these investments as low-risk, safe, simple and conservative.
Acevedo received approximately $1.1 million in Woodbridge compensation, according to the SEC.
Over the past few years, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has suspended and barred a number of brokers who sold the Woodbridge securities, which were unregistered securities.
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.