U.S. DOJ charges property firm founder in Ponzi scheme
April. 12, 2019
U.S. federal prosecutors charged the owner and two former executives of Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC on Thursday with orchestrating a $1.3-billion Ponzi scheme involving 10,000 victims.
Robert Shapiro, the owner of the luxury-property company, and former directors of investments Dayne Roseman and Ivan Acevedo were charged in the Southern District of Florida with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and substantive mail fraud counts, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement.
Separately, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also charged on Thursday Acevedo and Roseman for their roles in the scheme. It had charged Woodbridge and Shapiro previously.
Shapiro and the other two former Woodbridge employees were arrested on Thursday in California and presented before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Central District of California, the DOJ said.
Shapiro was ordered to be detained in prison, while Roseman and Acevedo were ordered to appear in the Southern District Florida for their arraignment, the date for which had not yet been scheduled.
According to the indictment, Shapiro took about $35 million in investor money for his benefit, spending millions on personal expenses such as chartering private planes and buying luxury cars, a house, and paying personal income taxes and his ex-wife.
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