Robert Shapiro, Ex-Woodbridge Group CEO Pleads Guilty in $1.3 Billion Fraud

Posted on August 26th, 2019 at 1:46 PM
Robert Shapiro, Ex-Woodbridge Group CEO Pleads Guilty in $1.3 Billion Fraud

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

Robert Shapiro, the former CEO of Woodbridge Group of Companies, has pled guilty to criminal charges as a result of running a $1.3 billion investment fraud that caused more than 7,000 investors to lose money.

Shapiro, 61, of Sherman Oaks, California, admitted to “misappropriating” anywhere between $25 million and $95 million worth of investments from primarily an elderly population of investors. The investments were alleged to help develop projects like hotels and luxury properties in the Los Angeles area and Shapiro further promised returns as high as 10% from investments in the real estate development.  Instead, he used money from later investors to repay earlier ones, and routed the money through a network of 270 LLCs he controlled. Shapiro also used investor money to maintain a lavish lifestyle; including paying for his $6.7 million home and $3.1 million for private planes and personal travel.

Shapiro has pled guilty to wire and mail fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion. Losses to investors are expected to exceed $100 million. The scam ran from July 2012 until December 2017, at which point Woodbridge filed for Chapter 11. Shaprio faces up to 25 years in prison with his sentencing hearing taking place in October this year.

Separate from his criminal charges, Shapiro agreed to pay $120 million for settlement of civil claims with the SEC, last fall. As a part of the civil restitutions, he has agreed to forfeit many ill-gotten gains; items such as artworks by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Marc Chagall, and Pierre-August Renoir; 603 high-end bottles of wine; numerous pieces of jewelry; and a 1969 Mercury convertible.

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, woodbridge group, robert shapiro, investment fraud

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