A Miami judge sentenced a former Sherman Oaks real estate developer to 25 years in prison for securities fraud. Robert H. Shapiro, who purchased high-end real estate in Los Angeles County, pleaded guilty in August to operating a Ponzi scheme.
Shapiro convinced investors to turn over their money to the Woodbridge Group of Companies. The company planned to purchase high-end real estate in Los Angeles, Florida and Colorado. Although the company did purchase a few signature properties, about 10,000 investors – most of whom were elderly – lost more than $1B in assets.
Shapiro admitted to diverting as much as $100M in investor funds to himself. He used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle and purchase luxury goods. He left many of his victims penniless. Two other company executives will go to trial next June. They face similar charges, including conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud.
Although he faced 10 felony charges, Shapiro pleaded guilty to just two – conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and tax evasion. For that, the judge in the case applied the maximum sentence – 25 years in prison. In addition, she ordered Shapiro to pay nearly $100M in restitution, and forfeit property purchased with the stolen funds. The forfeiture order specifically claims more than 600 bottles of wine; 7 paintings by recognized artists; a classic car; cash, and jewelry.
Sherman Oaks securities fraud lawyer
When you face charges of investment fraud, hire an experienced securities fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 35 years of experience exclusively in criminal defense. He takes federal criminal defense cases in any US District Court. He also takes state-level cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Mr. Helfend will fight aggressively to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County securities fraud case.
Photo Credit: Lucas Fox Barcelona, via Flickr.com