FINRA fined and suspended former Foresters Equity Services (San Diego, CA) broker John Dale Ernst for engaging in undisclosed and unapproved private securities transactions in soliciting investors to purchase interests in the Woodbridge Group of Companies, a since-outed Ponzi scheme.
FINRA filed AWC #201857754401, writing that stockbroker Ernst solicited investors to purchase promissory notes of the Woodbridge real estate investment fund, an entity since revealed as a $1.5 billion Ponzi scheme and fraud based in Sherman Oaks, California and Aspen, Colorado.
The findings state that Ernst (CRD #1958252) sold $509,000 in Woodbridge Promissory notes and received $35,252 in commissions as a result. Furthermore, Ernst purportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection but did not provide notice to Foresters Equity Services nor receive permission from the firm to participate in these private securities transactions, falsely indicating on annual compliance forms that he was not involved in private securities activities.
Ernst also purportedly indicated on these same compliance questionnaires that he had not sold promissory notes, which FINRA determined were untruthful statements. Foresters Equity Services terminated Ernst in February 2018 for the undisclosed private securities transaction.
In January 2019, the State of Wisconsin's Division of Securities barred Ernst from operating in the state due to his sales of Woodbridge promissory notes.
If you have invested with ex-Foresters Equity Services broker John Dale Ernst or with any financial adviser or representative who recommended or solicited Woodbridge Group of Companies securities, including the real estate fund promissory notes, and this investment in a Ponzi scheme has proven harmful to your financial interests, please call an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.