FINRA barred former Signator Investors (Huntington Beach, CA) broker Dee Dee Brooks for allegedly selling unapproved investments called Woodbridge Group of Companies and Future Income Payments (FIP). The Woodbridge promissory notes would later turn out to be a massive, $1.2 billion fraudulent Ponzi scheme.
For instance, one customer already successfully settled a 2018 complaint that Brooks invested her IRA monies in a fraudulent Ponzi scheme.
Report AWC #2018058983601 charged Dee Dee Brooks aka Doris Takooshian (CRD #2559233) with more than $1.77 million in undisclosed and unapproved private securities transactions, in contravention of Signator policy and without permission.
The FIP investment, specifically, represented itself as a structured cash flow investment and promised investors a seven-to-eight percent rate of return; Brooks purportedly sold these FIP investments, too, without Signator's approval, made even worse for her customers when FIP ceased its business in April 2018 while owing nearly $300 million in unpaid investor payments.
The report states Brooks, through an outside business, solicited a handful of Signator investors to invest over $900,000 in Woodbridge promissory notes. Brooks' BrokerCheck file lists Surf City Insurance Services of Huntington Beach as an outside business activity. Brooks' other listed employers include GF Investment Services, Global Financial Private Capital, SII of Irvine, and SCF Securities of Fresno.
Though Signator Investors permitted Deedee Brooks to resign in 2018 while under investigation over the sale of unregistered securities, she is hardly the only Signator Investors broker to get in trouble for selling fraudulent Woodbridge notes to investors.
In the fall of 2018, FINRA barred ex-Signator Investors broker David Carl Ferwada over his involvement in the unapproved outside investments.
In May 2018, FINRA barred Riverside, California area broker Joseph Glenn Platte after a 35-year career with Signator Investors and after Signator terminated Platte for engaging in a prohibited outside business activity and for failing to disclose or seek Signator's approval.
In 2016, FINRA suspended Walnut Creek, CA's Alfred Kai Kwong Chan, also a Signator Investors broker, for improperly selling indexed annuities without properly disclosing sales to the firm and for distributing an unapproved advertisement lacking adequate risk disclosures concerning a non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT) investment.
As previously established in FINRA's Examination Findings report, firms can be held liable for the misconduct of their brokers, and for their failure to adequately supervise their registered representatives. For instance, deficient supervisory systems could allow multiple brokers at the same firm to engage in misconduct, such as selling away, unsuitable recommendations, or other red flag transactions.
As indicated in our extensive coverage of the Woodbridge Group fraud, the unauthorized note sales targeted 8,400 investors nation-wide, including many elderly and retired customers with limited and fixed incomes, all while Woodbridge owner Robert H. Shapiro of Sherman Oaks, California and Aspen, Colorado lived in luxury.
Like Woodbridge Group's Robert Shapiro, Future Income Payments owner Scott A. Kohn was ultimately charged with criminal wrongdoing: specifically, conspiracy to engage in mail and wire fraud.If you have invested with Dee Dee Brooks or with any other broker or financial adviser in the fraudulent Woodbridge Group of Companies Ponzi scheme or in Future Income Payments, and these investments have resulted in losses or other harm to your interests, such as FIP's 2018 shuttering of the business while still owing investors $300 million, 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.