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Woodbridge Group of Companies’s CEO and President Robert Shapiro Pleads the Fifth in SEC Investigation Over $1 Billion Fraud

How the SEC Plans to Tackle Fraud and Protect Retail Investors from Unnecessary Risk on silverlaw.comCEO and President of Woodbridge Group of Companies (“Woodbridge Group”) Robert Shapiro is allegedly invoking his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent after the SEC has made repeated requests for documents from him and Woodbridge Group.

The SEC’s Subpoena for Documents Against Woodbridge Group

The SEC first launched an investigation into Woodbridge Group in November 2016.  The SEC was looking into the “offer and sale of unregistered securities, the sale of securities by unregistered brokers and the commission of fraud in connection with the offer, purchases and sale of securities.”

The SEC carried out its investigation at the time through informal requests to the company for various documents.  In late January 2017, the SEC followed the informal requests with a subpoena. While Woodbridge allegedly produced some documents, the SEC alleges it failed to produce many crucial documents it was required to produce under the subpoena.  This lead to the SEC filing an application for an order enforcing the subpoena (the “application”).

According to the Application, among other deficiencies, Woodbridge failed to produce any emails, including those of the managing director of Woodbridge and Shapiro’s.

Woodbridge filed a response to the Application in October 2017.  Among other things, Woodbridge alleged it reached out to Shapiro’s attorneys to obtain the requisite emails, who said Shapiro intended to plead the Fifth Amendment.

What Does it Mean to Plead the Fifth Amendment?

Individuals pleading the Fifth Amendment, colloquially known as “pleading the Fifth,” invoke the right in order to decline to answer questions where the answers might incriminate them.  Generally, those who plead the Fifth can do so without having to suffer a penalty for asserting the right. It is also known, more so in the criminal law context with Miranda Rights as “the right to remain silent.”

Pleading the Fifth is not an admission of guilt and cannot be used as evidence to prove the invoker’s guilt.  The affirmative action to invoke the rights under the Fifth Amendment is noteworthy, though.

Woodbridge Group’s Family of Funds and Companies

Woodbridge Group operates under the moniker Woodbridge Wealth and Woodbridge Structured Funding, LLC, among other names.  The company purportedly sells investments in first position commercial mortgages, commercial bridge loans, and second-market annuities.  Woodbridge Group has filed numerous Form Ds, the form required by the SEC in order to sell private placement investments, including but not limited to the following:

Contact Our Firm if You’ve Invested with Woodbridge group of Companies, Woodbridge Wealth, and/or Woodbridge Structured Funding

If you have invested with Woodbridge Wealth, Woodbridge Structured Funding, Woodbridge Group of Companies, or any of the listed investments contact our firm for a free consultation. Our lawyers are experienced in recovering investor losses due to broker and brokerage firm misconduct, including misconduct related to private placements and broker/brokerage firm fraud. Our attorneys routinely represent investors in FINRA arbitration and state or federal court.

Silver Law Group represents the interests of investors who have been the victims of investment fraud.  If you have questions about your legal rights, please contact Scott Silver of the Silver Law Group for a free consultation at ssilver@silverlaw.com or toll free at (800) 975-4345

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