Ponzi Scheme Alert: Former SA Stone Wealth Management Inc. Financial Advisor Christopher Wendel

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Were you the victim of former SA Stone Wealth Management Inc. financial advisor Christopher Wendel (CRD# 1930870) who is allegedly involved in the $1.22 billion Woodbridge Group of Companies Ponzi Scheme? Wendel was registered with SA Stone Wealth Management Inc. in Celina, Ohio from 2014 to September 2017, when he was terminated regarding, “Violated firm policy regarding selling away.” SA Stone Wealth Management Inc. opened an investigation into Wendel in April 2017 for the sale of non-approved products. Previously, he was registered with WRP Investments, Inc. in Celina, Ohio from 2002 to 2014.

It is reported that Wendel allegedly sold investments in the $1.22 billion Woodbridge Ponzi Scheme involving the Woodbridge Group of Companies. The company 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.” The company has $750 million in debt and has a commitment of $150 Million in DIP financing from an investor, Hankey Capital.

Then on December 20, 2017, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) requested Injunctive Relief against the Woodbridge Group of Companies, former principal Robert Shapiro, and LLCs tied to the scheme.

Wendel has been the subject of five customer complaints between 2000 and 2013, one of which was denied and one was closed without action, according to his CRD report:

  • May 2013. “Client alleges that Wendel invested a large portion of the client’s assets into reits that are considered illiquid and that Wendel sold low cost mutual funds to purchase higher cost mutual funds. Client alleges that these investments were unsuitable for him based on his objectives.” The customer sought $171,000 in damages and the case was settled for $90,000.
  • July 2003. “Client’s lawyer has written claiming losses due to unsuitable investments.” The client sought $49,107 in damages and the case was settled for $200,000.
  • April 2000. “The client alleged I conducted unauthorized trading, signed or offered to sign the client’s signature, convert her stock holdings from type “A” to type “B” mutual fund shares to her disadvantage and invested in annuities against her wishes during the period of February and march. Though not identified by the client, damages are estimated to exceed $5,000.” The case was settled for $130,936.88.

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, SA Stone Wealth Management Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Wendel’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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Author: Jeffrey Erez

The founder of Erez Law, Jeffrey Erez, focuses exclusively on securities arbitration and litigation. Mr. Erez passionately believes in representing aggrieved investors and obtaining justice for his clients through litigation.