FINRA Bars Ex-MML Broker for Selling $3.5 Million of Woodbridge Promissory Notes

Posted on March 5th, 2019 at 9:17 AM
FINRA Bars Ex-MML Broker for Selling $3.5 Million of Woodbridge Promissory Notes

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

FINRA has barred former MML Investor Services, LLC broker, Floyd Powell for failing to disclose to his firm that he sold unregistered promissory notes to 11 customers and received $104,000 in commissions as a result of the transactions.  

The promissory notes sold by Powell were issued by Woodbridge Group of Companies (Woodbridge), which has been the subject of an SEC investigation. Recently, Woodbridge agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the SEC involving allegations that the company ran a $1.2 billion investment fraud scheme that duped more than 8,400 investors.

More specifically, in December 2017, the SEC filed a securities action in federal court in Florida, accusing Woodbridge of defrauding more than 8,400 investors through its real estate investment deals. According to the SEC, the owner of Woodbridge, Robert Shapiro, used new investor money to pay the returns owed to existing investors in a Ponzi-scheme like manner. Meanwhile, Mr. Shapiro and his family spent an exorbitant amount of investor funds for their personal use, such as to pay for luxury automobiles, jewelry, country club memberships, fine wine, and chartering private planes.

Woodbridge currently is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Woodbridge filed for bankruptcy around the same time the SEC brought its December,2017 lawsuit, claiming that it owes $750 million to noteholders as its primary debt along with having incurred significant compliance costs. 

Investors who have purchased Woodbridge promissory notes through Floyd Powell, or any other financial advisor, should contact us to determine if there is any recourse to recover their investment losses.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law LLC represent investors and advisors nationwide in securities and employment matters. The securities lawyers at Eccleston Law also practice a variety of other areas of practice for financial investors and advisors including Securities FraudCompliance ProtectionBreach of Fiduciary DutyFINRA Matters, and much more. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 65 years in delivering the highest quality legal services. If you are in need of legal services, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation today.

Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston

Tags: james eccleston, eccleston law, eccleston law llc, eccleston, finra, mml, woodbridge, sec, securities

Return to Archive

TESTIMONIALS

Previous
Next

Jim, Stephany and the whole team were a God send.  We felt like we were put into a situation where we had no advocate. Jim’s team came in with a strong, well laid out strategy on how to get our story heard. Where our outside compliance company had no ability to help, our Broker Dealer was impenitent, and the regulators were aggressive pursuing vague rules, Jim came like a barricade against an assault we did not understand. Though you pay member dues to be affiliated with FINRA and a B/D, you have no voice. The only thing that is truly heard in this un-level playing field is a bulldog’s bark like Jim’s. I would encourage anyone to call Jim and his team to find a real ally in the tough and complicated world of securities regulation. They are truly the best.

Greg P.

LATEST NEWS AND ARTICLES

October 20, 2021
5 First-of-Their-Kind SEC Enforcement Actions Announced

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal recently discussed notable first-of-their-kind enforcement actions that his division has pursued.

October 19, 2021
FINRA Targets SPACs in Most Recent Exam Sweep

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has begun an examination sweep of advisors’ involvement with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

October 18, 2021
SEC’s Statement on Complex Exchange-Traded Products

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently voted to approve a pair of rule changes proposed by Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. to list and trade shares of new exchange traded-products: the 2x Long VIX Futures ETC and the -1x Short VIX Futures ETF.