Boca Raton, Florida – August 25, 2021 – On August 20, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint in Georgia federal court accusing investment adviser John J. Woods of operating a $110 million Ponzi scheme called Horizon Private Equity III LLC.
Southport Capital, a registered investment advisory firm which reports over $824 million assets under management, is affiliated with adviser John J. Woods.
Over 400 investors in 20 states, many elderly, are affected by the alleged Ponzi scheme. They were owed $110 million in principal at the end of July, 2021, according to the complaint.
According to the SEC, Horizon and Woods have raised more than $600,000 from investors in recent months. The SEC’s complaint asks for an asset freeze, emergency relief, for a federal receiver to be appointed, as well as civil penalties, disgorgement of illegal gains, and an order requiring an accounting of the money raised and how it was used.
In the SEC’s complaint, it is alleged that Woods began the Ponzi scheme not long before he became the majority owner of Southport. He allegedly told Southport’s advisers to recommend investing in Horizon.
Horizon investors were allegedly told that their money would be used to invest in real estate, bonds, or stocks, and that they would receive 6%-7% returns guaranteed for two or three years.
The complaint claims that Woods told investors that their money was safe and that they could get their principal out without penalty after a short waiting period. Southport advisers who sold Horizon to clients received compensation from Horizon and Southport.
According to the SEC, millions of dollars worth of investor funds are unaccounted for because Horizon did not follow traditional record-keeping practices. The SEC claims that Horizon investor money was used to pay older investors, which investors were not aware of, and is a Ponzi scheme. According to FINRA records, John Woods was registered with Oppenheimer & Co. from 2003 through 2016.
Ponzi Scheme Losses
Silver Law Group is investigating potential legal action designed to help victims of the Ponzi scheme. Silver Law Group represents investors who have been the victims of investment fraud, and has brought many claims to help victims of Ponzi schemes recover their losses, including class action lawsuits against third parties.
Scott Silver, Silver Law Group’s managing partner, was recently re-elected as the chairman of the Securities and Financial Fraud Group of the American Association of Justice, and represents investors nationwide and abroad in securities investment fraud cases. Please contact Scott Silver of Silver Law Group for a no-cost consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at (800) 975-4345.