Erez Law is currently investigating former Foresters Equity Services, Inc. financial advisor John Ernst (CRD# 1958252) regarding recommending unsuitable Woodbridge Mortgage investments. Ernst has been registered with Foresters Equity Services, Inc. in San Diego, California from 2011 to March 2018, when he was terminated regarding, “The RR violated the Firm’s policies and procedures in that he engaged in an undisclosed private securities transaction away from the broker dealer without approval. Additionally, the RR failed to inform the Firm he was contacted by the State of Wisconsin by letter on November 30, 2017 pursuant to the State’s investigation of the Woodbridge Group of Companies Group, LLC.”
The Woodbridge Group of Companies is a southern California luxury real estate developer that missed payments on notes sold to investors and filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2017, along with 275 subsidiaries and affiliates, citing “unforeseen costs associated with ongoing litigation and regulatory compliance.” It is alleged that elderly and other investors invested millions of dollars into the Woodbridge Group of Companies investment programs. The investors were allegedly told that these were secure investments in real estate, which is not the case as evidenced by these bankruptcy proceedings.
The SEC is investigating whether 235 LLCs have violated the anti fraud, broker-dealer and securities registration provisions of the federal securities laws in connection with the Woodbridge Group of Companies receipt of more than $1 billion of investor funds from more than 8,000 of investors nationwide. The SEC is investigating the offer and sale of unregistered securities, the sale of securities by unregistered brokers and the commission of fraud in connection with the offer, purchase and sale of securities. Monetary claims against Woodbridge remain pending.
In November 2017, the State of Wisconsin opened an investigation in Ernst regarding, “The State of Wisconsin contacted Mr. Ernst via letter dated November 30, 2017 in connection with the agency’s investigation of Woodbridge Group of Companies Group, LLC.”
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Foresters Equity Services, Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Ernst’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.
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