The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged three more sales agents for the Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC, which operated as a Ponzi scheme, with illegally selling Woodbridge securities to retail investors while acting as an unregistered broker.
According to the latest complaint, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, from about June 2014 to December 2017, Brook Church-Koegel, David H. Goldman and Nicole J. Walker sold and assisted others in selling approximately $444 million in Woodbridge securities in unregistered transactions to thousands of mostly elderly investors who invested their retirement savings as a result of the defendants’ sales and marketing tactics.
The complaint alleged that the three California-based internal sales agents for Woodbridge were among the firm’s largest revenue-generating internal sales agents, with Church-Koegel and Goldman eventually becoming “team leaders” who assisted sales agents throughout the United States.
The defendants received significant transaction-based compensation from their unlawful sales, with Church-Koegel of Marina del Rey, California, and Goldman of Chatsworth, California, making more than $1 million each and Walker of Marina del Rey pocketing more than $750,000, the SEC said.
Each of the defendants “coordinated and assisted external sales agents in their efforts to sell Woodbridge’s securities, including regularly speaking with them over the telephone and sometimes joining them in calls with investors to answer questions about Woodbridge’s securities,” the suit stated.
The defendants pitched Woodbridge’s securities to the general public through email, telephone, at in-person meetings and by using other instruments of interstate commerce, according to the SEC. The defendants provided investors with Woodbridge’s sales and marketing materials that touted the firm’s securities as “safer” and “conservative,” the suit stated.