Michael has over 20 years of experience representing individual and small business plaintiffs against the world’s large financial institutions, including Visa, Mastercard, and Chase.
On August 20, 2021, the SEC charged investment advisor John J. Woods with operating Horizon Private Equity, III as a Ponzi scheme for more than a decade, using new investors’ funds to pay previous investors. According to the SEC, millions of dollars in investors’ funds are currently unaccounted for.
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SEC Lawsuit Alleges Widescale Fraud, Ponzi Scheme
According to the SEC lawsuit, Horizon’s own bank accounts reveal that new investor money was used to make interest payments to existing investors. 99% of funds deposited in Horizon’s bank account in April 2021 consisted of new investor funds, and Woods and Horizon have raised more than $600,000 more in new investor money in recent months, according to the complaint.
The SEC says Horizon investors were told their money would be invested in stocks, government bonds, and small real estate projects, and that they could expect to 6%-7% returns guaranteed for 2-3 years. According to the lawsuit, most investors were not provided written investment materials, and were led to believe that they could recover their principal without penalty after a brief waiting period.
Millions of Investor Funds “Unaccounted For”
The reality, according to the SEC, is that investors are owed $110 million in principal, but Horizon’s assets are worth significantly less than the amount owed. In addition, because Horizon failed to follow basic record-keeping practices, the SEC says millions of dollars in investors’ funds are currently unaccounted for.
A federal judge granted the SEC’s request for emergency relief on August 24, ordering Woods’s and Horizon’s assets frozen, and appointed a receiver to control Horizon’s assets and some of Woods’s assets.
About John J. Woods, Horizon Private Equity Fund, III and Southport Capital
John J. Woods was formerly registered as a financial advisor with Oppenheimer, and is also affiliated with investment advisory firm Southport Capital, an advisory firm with more than $824 million assets under management.
Horizon has more than 400 investors from 20 different states—many of whom are retirees. In some instances, Southport advisors allegedly encouraged clients to sell existing investments and invest the proceeds in Horizon, resulting in significant compensation for the advisors.
Our Securities Lawyers Have a Winning Record Against the Companies Like Horizon
Our securities lawyers have recovered over a billion dollars on behalf of our clients against behemoths, such as Chase Bank, Mastercard, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. Read more about our results.
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We are happy to discuss any questions related to our fees as well as different arrangements we can structure.
Our Featured Securities Fraud Attorneys
Scott focuses his law practice on securities arbitration and litigation and plaintiff-side class action litigation, representing individual investors and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, investment advisors, commodities firms, hedge funds and others.
Eileen is involved in the firm’s securities practice and has over a decade of experience in the legal world. She received her law degree from American University in 2005.
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Our Financial Fraud Experience
Gibbs Law Group
Gibbs Law Group’s financial fraud and securities lawyers have more than two decades of experience prosecuting fraud. The firm has successfully litigated against some of the largest companies in the United States, and has recovered more than a billion dollars on clients’ behalf.
Gibbs Law Group attorneys have fought some of the most complex cases brought under federal and state laws nationwide, and have been recognized with numerous awards and honors for their accomplishments, including Top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California, Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California, The Best Lawyers in America, and rated AV Preeminent (among the highest class of attorneys for professional ethics and legal skills).
Silver Law Group
Silver Law Group is a team of securities lawyers, forensic accountants, and support staff who are dedicated to helping investors recover losses through securities arbitration and litigation.
The firm is led by Scott Silver, a former Wall Street defense attorney who has been representing customers in securities and investment fraud cases since 2002. Scott is admitted to practice in New York and Florida and the firm’s FINRA arbitration attorneys represents investors nationwide.
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