SEC charges Texas 'broker' with illegally selling Woodbridge securities

Unregistered Brett Pittsenbargar sold $18 million of fraudulent paper to at least 45 investors

Nov 26, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

By InvestmentNews

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Brett Pittsenbargar, a Texas-based sales agent for the Woodbridge Group of Companies, for acting as a broker while unregistered and illegally selling Woodbridge securities and other securities in unregistered transactions.

[More:Woodbridge Group execs charged with criminal fraud in Ponzi scheme

According to the complaint, Mr. 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 other highest-earning unregistered brokers with allegedly stealing over $1 billion from thousands of retail investors, many of them seniors, as part of a massive Ponzi scheme. In January 2019, a federal court in Florida Woodbridge, its related companies, and Mr. Shapiro to pay a combined $1 billion for operating the scheme.

[More:SEC charges five unlicensed salespeople in Woodbridge Ponzi

According to the SEC's complaint, from at least November 2012 to December 2016, Mr. Pittsenbargar and his firm, MGM Home Remodeling, which did business as 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. He allegedly received approximately $1 million in transaction-based compensation.

The SEC's complaint, filed in Los Angeles, Calif., federal court, seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest and financial penalties.

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