Finra bars another broker who sold Woodbridge Ponzi

The broker, Dennis Ferwerda, failed to cooperate in Finra's investigation

Oct 31, 2018 @ 4:09 pm

By Bruce Kelly

Finra has barred another broker who did not cooperate with an investigation into a real estate Ponzi scheme.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on Tuesday barred Dennis Ferwerda for failing to provide documents and information the regulator requested regarding his sales of notes related to the Woodbridge Group of Companies.

Last year, the SEC charged the Woodbridge Group with running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme that targeted 8,400 investors.

Mr. Ferwerda started in the brokerage industry in 1977 and was registered with Signator Investors Inc. when he was fired this March for "involvement in the sale of unapproved outside investments in violation of firm policy," according to his BrokerCheck report. He agreed to the Finra order without admitting to or denying its findings.

In September, Finra barred two former H.D. Vest brokers who also sold promissory notes of Woodbridge, a group of unregistered investment companies.

Finra was also looking for information and documents from Mr. Ferwerda related to investments in 1 Global Capital, according to its order. In July, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney's office said they were investigating 1 Global Capital, an alleged $283 million loan fraud that was sold, at least in part, through a network of unregistered brokers and financial advisers.

Finra barred Mr. Ferwerda for failing to provide information it requested as part of its investigation, said his attorney, Lori Patterson.

"He determined he didn't want to be registered" with Finra, said Ms. Patterson. "I guess he doesn't care to sell securities anymore."

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