The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday charged two former directors of investments at the Woodbridge Group of Cos. LLC, a developer of celebrity real estate, with fraud for their roles in a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
The defendants, California-based Ivan Acevedo and Dane R. Roseman, were separately arrested and charged by criminal authorities, along with Woodbridge owner Robert H. Shapiro.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Shapiro operated Woodbridge as a massive Ponzi scheme, which, from July 2012 through December 2017, raised at least $1.22 billion from more than 8,400 unsuspecting investors nationwide through fraudulent unregistered securities offerings.
Many of the investors were seniors, and together Acevedo and Roseman received more than $3 million in transaction-based and other compensation.
Schapiro along with Acevedo and Roseman were arrested on Thursday, accused of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and other violations of federal law in an indictment unsealed in the Southern District of Florida.
According to the Los Angeles Times, one property that was known to be among Woodbridge’s holdings is the historic Owlwood estate in Holmby Hills, a former home of actor Tony Curtis and singing duo Sonny and Cher.