Woodbridge Investors Encouraged to Come Forward
Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear said, “The Florida Office of Financial Regulation is committed to protecting Floridians from financial crime. Illegal financial activity will not be tolerated, and we will continue fighting for victims. Thank you to our investigators and our state and federal partners who are working to move this case forward.”
In its first wave of actions, the agency’s administrative complaint alleges that the named sales agents and companies violated the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act by unlawfully offering unregistered securities for sale to Floridians. The agency further alleges that more than 3,300 violations took place. The sales agents are accused of having sold investments offered by Woodbridge to more than 800 Florida victims, who collectively invested more than $100 million.
Investments in Woodbridge First Position Commercial Mortgages were touted as very safe and promised interest rates as high as six percent to investors. However, in a separate civil complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2017, they alleged that most of the investors’ money was used to pay commissions to sales agents, to pay interest to already existing investors and to pay the personal expenses of the company’s president.
This investigation is ongoing. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation sent a questionnaire in November 2017 to more than 800 Floridians believed to be Woodbridge investors. Investors are encouraged to return the completed questionnaire as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. Additionally, any Woodbridge investor who has not received a questionnaire should contact the Florida Office of Financial Regulation at (850) 487-9687.
The administrative complaint has been issued against:
- Barry Kornfeld and Ferne Kornfeld, of Parkland, FEK Enterprises, Inc., dba First Financial Tax Group operating in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach;
- Lynnette Robbins and Knowles Systems Inc., of The Villages;
- Albert Klager and Atlantic Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., of Vero Beach;
- Andrew Costa and Costa Financial Insurance, Inc., of Fort Lauderdale; and
- James Gilchrist of Fort Pierce.