Category Archives: Department of Justice

Former NEXT Financial Group Broker Heidi Wivolin Pleads Guilty to Wire/Tax Fraud-Ft. Lauderdale, FL

MARCH 2018 UPDATEShawn O’Sullivan a former registered broker who once shared office space with Heidi Wivolin in the former NEXT Financial Group offices that were located in Manalapan, FL, recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy  to commit mail fraud. He will be sentenced in the coming months.

February 2018-Ft. Lauderdale , Florida

Former NEXT Financial Group broker Heidi Wivolin has agreed to plead  guilty to an Information filed by US Attorney’s Office to the following:

  • One count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud
  • One count of Willfully Filing a False Income Tax Return for 2010, and
  • One count of Tax Evasion for 2011

In the Factual Agreement entered into with the government, Wivolin agrees that had the case proceeded to trial the government would have proven certain facts, beyond a reasonable doubt, including:

  • Wivolin marketed securities and investment services to Finnish clients
  • Between July 2008 through January 2014 Wivolin and co-defendant Shawn O’Sullivan devised a scheme to defraud a customer by purporting to sell a bond and promising a 7% rate of return
  • Wivolin never invested any of the money in a bond or other investment vehicle
  • Wivolin and  O’Sullivan took the customer’s money and used it for their personal and business expenses
  • Wivolin continued to perpetuate the illusion that the customer’s money had been invested by verbal assurances and by sending false and fraudulent statements.

Statutory maximum sentences are 20 years for mail fraud, 3 years for filing a false tax return and up to five years for tax evasion. Sentencing is set for May 2, 2018.

Wivolin has agreed to pay restitution to a person referred to as “M.W.” in court pleadings in the amount of $190,280.51 and restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $140,069. Wivolin also agrees to make restitution to a person referred to as “P.M.” in the plea agreement in the amount of $2,567,585 for wire fraud against P.M. in year 2012 and 2013. USA vs Heidi Wivolin, Case 9:18-cr-80023-WPD, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Wivolin was a stockbroker registered with NEXT Financial Group from 2009-2014.

Pasi Martin, et al vs. NEXT Financial Group–    As we have previously reported, Dickenson Murphy Rex & Sloan and co-counsel Mrachek, Fitzgerald, Rose, Konopka, Thomas & Weiss represent a group of Finnish individuals and companies who allege that millions were stolen from them by Wivolin while she was employed at the NEXT Financial Group office that was previously located in Manalapan, FL.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Additional Individuals Indicted In Chimera Energy Corp. Fraud-Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas – July 2017

According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, a second superseding indictment has been issued by a  federal grand jury naming additional individuals and companies related to the Chimera Energy Corp. pump and dump fraud. Losses due to the fraud may exceed $25 million.

The following individuals were  named in September 15, 2016 indictment for a securities fraud scheme involving the stock of Chimera Energy Corp:

  • Andrew Ian Farmer, 38 , Houston, TX
  • Thomas Galen Massey, 46, Houston, TX

In a superseding indictment April 26,2017, a federal grand jury charged five additional individuals for their roles in the Chimera Energy fraud:

  • Eddie Douglas Austin, Jr. , 66, Houston, TX
  • Carolyn Price Austin, 62, Houston, TX
  • Charles Earl Grob, Jr. 37, Houston, TX
  • John David Brotherton, 57, League City, TX
  • Scott Russell Sieck, 58, Winter Park, FL

On July 20, 2017, a grand jury returned a second superseding indictment against Farmer, Eddie and Carolyn Austin, Brotherton, Sieck and Grob for roles in a broader securities fraud conspiracy involving at least 12 other companies from 2011 to 2017.

The release indicates that Massey pleaded guilty to his role on April 18,2017, and is set for sentencing in June 2018.

Pump and Dump Scheme

In a pump and dump scheme, the fraudsters engage in fraudulent trading practices in a company’s stock by publishing false and misleading information about the company with the intention of inflating the price of the stock. Once the stock rises as a result of this fake information, the fraudsters dump their stock on the market to the investors who have been misled by the false information.

Victims who may have been advised by a registered stockbroker to invest in any of these companies may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. Call to learn about your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Wesley M. Woodyard Sentenced to 87 Months For Fraud-Dallas, Texas

July 2017- Dallas, Texas

According to the Department of Justice , Wesley Michael Woodyard, 66, was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud Ace European Insurance Company (ACE) of London, England, of over $4.6 million from 2002-2013.

Woodyard owned and operated Ringler Associates of North Texas and used that entity to defraud ACE who believed that he was actually purchasing legitimate annuity contracts.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Nemelee Liwanag Jiao Indicted for Fraud-Philippine School Ponzi Scheme-Dallas, TX

April 2017-Dallas, TX

Nemelee Liwanag Jiao, 47, of Irving, Texas, was indicted on two counts of wire fraud for operating a Ponzi scheme that bilked 35 people out of at least $1 Million , according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. 

The indictment alleges that from 2/2009-3/2016, Jioa convinced individuals to invest in promissory notes purportedly issued by Shepherd’s Light Learning Center and Lord of Peace Learning Center, non-profit schools in the Philippines. Investors were promised returns ranging from 10% to 100% on their investment.

The indictment alleges Jioa used the funds for personal expenses, including a country club membership.

The statutory penalty for wire fraud is 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Allan George Cooper Guilty of Investment Fraud-Houston, Texas

May 20-17-Houston, Texas

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas advises that Allan George Cooper, 76, of Montgomery, TX, was convicted on two counts related to an investment fraud scheme using his companies Effective Energy Alternatives dba A.G. Cooper Associates and Effective Funding Network.

Cooper, who preyed upon his church group and others, presented himself as an investment advisor and raised about $5 million from unsuspecting victims who thought they were investing in short term loans to companies.

Cooper touted 12% returns. In reality most of the funds were used to pay back earlier investors, a classic Ponzi Scheme, and to fund his own lifestyle.

Cooper faces up to 20 years on each count plus a maximum fine of $250,000.

Link to government press release. 

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870