Billboard

Investor Resources

 

     Investor Alerts

 

    Brochures & Videos

News Releases

 

    Podcasts

   
Speakers Bureau
 

Sign up for News Releases and Investor Alerts!


Sign up for Commission News sent directly to 
your email box!

Click here for Current News Releases
Commission Hearing and Open Meeting Schedules

View Live Meeting Broadcast

 

View case-related documents 

Bookmark and Share

News Release Directory


                                      Current News Releases        Archived News Releases 

February 5-6, 2019

Gregory J. Sanchez, CoverLugg, LLC and Birdie Media, LLC
The Corporation Commission ordered Gregory J. Sanchez of Chandler and his two affiliated companies to pay more than $2 million in restitution and $150,000 in administrative penalties for defrauding investors. Sanchez and his limited liability companies, CoverLugg and Birdie Media, were never registered to sell securities in Arizona.

The Corporation Commission found Sanchez engaged in securities fraud when he promised at least three investors a return on their investments within a year but failed to repay them. Also, the Corporation Commission found that Sanchez falsified company purchase orders and failed to disclose numerous judgments ordered against him and his conviction for bank fraud to relevant investors.

For more details on this case, view the full text of the Corporation Commission's order
S-20984A-16-0315.

Adam Child, Real Estate Finance Corporation, and WIN Opportunity Fund
The Corporation Commission ordered Adam Child of Scottsdale and his affiliated companies to pay a total of $3,6280,565 in restitution and a $40,000 administrative penalty for committing securities fraud in connection with real estate investments. The Corporation Commission found that Real Estate Finance Corporation and WIN Opportunity Fund solicited potential investors through information seminars, cold-calling and social media, but omitted material information that would have allowed investors to evaluate claims of Child's past business success and be informed about Child's previous judgment against him, his declaration of bankruptcy, and the license revocation of his prior mortgage-lending business.

For details on this case, view the full text of the Corporation Commission's order
S-21018A-17-0232.

Titan Funding Group I, LLC and Titan Capital Holding, LLC
The Corporation Commission approved a consent order signed by the court-appointed receiver for Titan Funding Group I, LLC and Titan Capital Holding, LLC, requiring the companies to pay $39,740 in restitution. The restitution amount is what the receiver was able to distribute to the investors. The Commission found the companies raised more than $2.75 million from at least 25 investors, pooling the funds to lend money to real estate developers who were to purchase and "flip" residential properties. However, the Corporation Commission found that Titan Funding Group I, LLC failed to tell investors that its executive, Adam Child, had a previous judgment against him, had declared bankruptcy, and that Child's prior mortgage-lending business had its license revoked. Additionally, the Corporation Commission found Titan Funding Group I, LLC co-mingled funds from related companies that subsequently spent the funds on unsecured development projects and overhead.

For details on this case, view the full text of the Corporation Commission's order
S-21054A-18-0301
.

Commission Sanctions Multiple Individuals and Companies, including two Lake Havasu CPAs and their company that committed a $2.6 Million Fraud

 The Corporation Commission ordered Lake Havasu CPAs Lance Michael Bersch and the late David John Wanzek and their affiliated company, ER Financial & Advisory Services, LLC, to pay $2.6 million in restitution and a total of $816,000 in administrative penalties for fraudulently selling unregistered securities and registration violations. Also, the Corporation Commission ordered Concordia Financing Company, Ltd. of California to jointly pay $2.6 million restitution and a $700,000 administrative penalty for its securities registration violations. The Corporation Commission found that Bersch and Wanzek fraudulently sold unregistered investment contracts in Concordia, which was in the business of purchasing and servicing subprime loans to truck drivers who purchased used, big rig trucks. The Corporation Commission found that Bersch, Wanzek and ER Financial were not registered to sell securities in Arizona, and they failed to disclose to several investors the finders' fees Concordia paid them for selling the investments. The Corporation Commission found Concordia did nothing to determine if an investor had the financial wherewithal to make an investment, and it failed to use questionnaires or other materials to determine whether investors were accredited investors. For more details on this case, view the full text of the Corporation Commission's order S-20906A-14-0063.

 

 A complete list of agenda items and archived broadcast of the Commissioner's February Open Meeting is available on the Corporation Commission's website: http://www.azcc.gov/live.


December 19,2018                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LPL Financial, LLC

The Commission ordered LPL Financial, LLC to pay a $499,000 administrative penalty to the state of Arizona for offering and selling unregistered securities and for failing to properly supervise its securities salesmen. In settling this matter, LPL Financial, LLC agreed to undertake a number of actions to reform its practices and repurchase the securities from all injured investors. For more details regarding the settlement, view the full text of the Corporation Commission's order S-21062A-18-0365.

November 8, 2018                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Robert H. Shapiro, WMF Management, LLC and Affiliates Ordered to Pay $3.73 Million

The Arizona Corporation Commission ordered Robert H. Shapiro of California and his affiliated companies to pay $3,582,894 in restitution and $150,000 in administrative penalties for defrauding investors.   
The Corporation Commission found that Shapiro and his affiliated companies—WMF Management, LLC, Woodbridge Group of Companies, LLC, and four Woodbridge Investment Fund limited liability companies—sold an unregistered investment product called a First Position Commercial Mortgage. The Commission found that the Woodbridge Investment Funds were commercial lenders that made loans secured by commercial property and raised a total of $38,428,877 from investors to fund the loans. Further, the Commission found that Shapiro and his affiliated companies failed to inform investors about the risks of the loans and about the enforcement orders issued against them by other securities regulators. Shapiro and his affiliated companies were not registered to sell securities in Arizona.
To date, the Woodbridge Funds have repaid a total of $34,845,983 to the Arizona and non-Arizona investors. For more details about this case, view the full text of the Commission’s order, S-20988A-16-0354. To learn more about how to research an investment adviser or file a complaint, visit http://azinvestor.gov.   
October 14, 2018
Commissioners Revoke License of Gilbert Investment Adviser for Fraud
The Commission revoked the Arizona investment adviser representative license of Cory R. Williams of Gilbert and the investment adviser license of his company, Williams Advisory Group, LLC, based upon violations found by the U.S. Commodities and Futures Commission (CFTC), a federal regulator. 
 
In its May 2018 decision, the CFTC found that Williams employed a scheme to defraud his family, friends, and fellow church members making multiple material misrepresentations and omissions in connection with investing more than $13 million of his client funds in the futures market. Specifically, the CFTC found Williams attracted and retained investors by representing that he was a highly successful trader in the futures market when, in fact, he was not. The CFTC found Williams used more $3 million of the investors’ funds to repay certain investors who requested a return of their funds, which helped conceal his fraudulent scheme. Also, the CFTC found that Williams failed to register as a commodity pool operator, diverted more than $800,000 of investor funds to his own personal use, and continued to report fabricated weekly profits after losing all his investors’ money. For more details about this case, view the full text of the Corporation Commission’s order  S-21048A-18-0159.

September 12, 2018

Stephen M. Thompson, Joseph E. Finateri, et al.
The Commission ordered two individuals and six affiliated companies to pay a total of $3.17 million in restitution and individual administrative penalties ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 for defrauding investors with multiple oil and gas programs. Respondents named in the Commission’s order include:
Stephen M. Thompson                           
Joseph E. Finateri
Leland Energy, Inc.
Leland Kentucky Holding, Inc.
Leland Colorado Holding, Inc.
The Appalachian Drilling Fund II, LLP
Knox Drilling Fund II, LLP
Green County Energy Fund, LLP
All the respondents listed above failed to file an answer to the allegations or request a hearing. The Commission found that Thompson and his affiliated companies sold interests in oil and gas limited partnerships and/or interests in a pooled oil and gas program to approximately 36 Arizona investors. These interests have not been registered by the Commission, and Thompson, Finateri, and their affiliated companies have not been registered in Arizona as securities salesmen or dealers. Further, the Commission found some investors were not informed about prior misrepresentations Thompson made about oil and gas investment opportunities and prior securities legal actions against him and Leland Energy, Inc. Additionally, some investors were not informed about Finateri’s prior criminal conviction for fraud.
 
All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at
http://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number S-21014A-17-1074.


August 8, 2018                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Commissioners Revoke License of Gilbert Investment Adviser for Fraud
The Commission revoked the Arizona investment adviser representative license of Cory R. Williams of Gilbert and the investment adviser license of his company, Williams Advisory Group, LLC, based upon violations found by the U.S. Commodities and Futures Commission (CFTC), a federal regulator.
In its May 2018 decision, the CFTC found that Williams employed a scheme to defraud his family, friends, and fellow church members making multiple material misrepresentations and omissions in connection with investing more than $13 million of his client funds in the futures market. Specifically, the CFTC found Williams attracted and retained investors by representing that he was a highly successful trader in the futures market when, in fact, he was not. The CFTC found Williams used more $3 million of the investors’ funds to repay certain investors who requested a return of their funds, which helped conceal his fraudulent scheme. Also, the CFTC found that Williams failed to register as a commodity pool operator, diverted more than $800,000 of investor funds to his own personal use, and continued to report fabricated weekly profits after losing all his investors’ money.
For more details about this case, view the full text of the Corporation Commission’s order S-21048A-18-0159.