The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Brett Pittsenbargar, a Texas-based external sales agent for Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC, and his wholly-owned alter ego company, for illegally selling Woodbridge securities and other securities in unregistered transactions to retail investors while acting as an unregistered broker. According to the complaint, Pittsenbargar was among Woodbridge’s top revenue producers.
The SEC previously charged Woodbridge and its former owner, Robert H. Shapiro, and 19 of Woodbridge’s highest-earning unregistered brokers with allegedly stealing more than one billion dollars from thousands of retail investors, many of them seniors, as part of a massive Ponzi scheme.
In January 2019, a federal court in Florida ordered Woodbridge, its related companies, and Shapiro to pay a combined $1 billion for operating the scheme. The SEC also charged Woodbridge’s two former directors of investments for their roles.
According to the SEC’s complaint, from at least November 2012 to December 2016, Pittsenbargar and his company, MGM Home Remodeling LLC f/k/a BP Financials, LLC d/b/a BP Financial & Tax Design Group (BP Financials), raised more than $18 million by selling Woodbridge securities in unregistered transactions to at least 45 retail investors located in at least four states.
Pittsenbargar was not registered with the SEC and allegedly received approximately $1 million in transaction-based compensation.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in the Central District of California, seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest, and financial penalties.