The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Henry J. “Trae” Wieniewitz, III and his Knoxville, Tennessee-based company, Wieniewitz Financial LLC, for unlawfully offering and selling securities of the Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC and 1 Global Capital LLC.
The SEC previously charged Woodbridgeand its former owner, Robert H. Shapiro, and others with operating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, and in January 2019, a federal court in Florida ordered Woodbridge and Shapiro to pay $1 billionfor operating the scheme.
The SEC has previously charged numerous Woodbridge sales agentsfor various registration violations. In addition, the SEC previously charged 1 Global and its owner with operating a fraudulent scheme to misappropriate millions of dollars from investors.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Wieniewitz and Wieniewitz Financial illegally offered and sold the fraudulent securities to more than 630 retail investors from at least February 2016 to July 2018. The SEC alleges that throughout this period, Wieniewitz and his company were neither registered as broker-dealers with the SEC nor associated with a registered broker-dealer.
Wieniewitz and his firm raised more than $11.4 million and reaped approximately $500,000 in commissions from unlawful sales of Woodbridge securities, and raised more than $53 million and obtained approximately $3 million in commissions from unlawful sales of 1 Global securities.
In its complaint, the SEC seeks court-ordered injunctions, return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest, and financial penalties against Wieniewitz and Wieniewitz Financial.
Wieniewitz and Wieniewitz Financial settled the SEC’s charges as to liability without admitting or denying the allegations, and agreed to be subject to injunctions, with the court to determine the amounts of disgorgement, interest, and penalties at a later date.