The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the possible misconduct of former securities broker Joel Flaningan. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Joel Flaningan has been the subject of multiple customer disputes in connection with the Woodbridge group of companies.

Joel Flaningan was an Indiana based securities broker. He worked in the securities field for seven years. He spent his entire career as a registered broker for NYLIFE Securities. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.

The Allegations

  • In January 2019, a customer alleged that Joel Flaningan recommended they unsuitably purchase Woodbridge Promissory Notes. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $45,000 in damages.
  • Also in January 2019, a customer alleged that Joel Flaningan sold them Woodbrdige Promissory Notes. The customer alleged that this was unsuitable and that Flaningan did not adequately disclose the associated risks. This case is currently pending. The customer is seeking $100,000 in damages.
  • In February 2019, another customer alleged that Joel Flaningan sold them unsuitable Woodbridge Promissory Notes. This case was settled for $37,500 in damages.

The Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Funds

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment strategy that provides falsified information to investors. Individuals invest a principal investment and then are continuously given inaccurate or misleading information on how the investment is doing or how it will perform in the future. The investment fund, however, is not actually generating profit. Thus investment returns are paid to investors using funds received from new investors. This cycle continues until the entire fund collapses.

According to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Woodbridge group of companies operated almost identically to the above mentioned description. Woodbridge housed multiple different investment funds that claimed they were using their invested capital to provide loans to third party companies. It was the interest on these loans that was meant to generate revenue and, in turn, the investment returns that numerous brokers had allegedly promised their investors. Numerous securities brokers like Joel Flaningan allegedly solicited investors to purchase promissory notes of these Woodbridge funds promising no loss of principal and a steady annual interest rate between 5 and 8 percent.

According to the SEC, very little of the fund was actually lent to real third party borrowers. Most of the money was allegedly lent to limited liability companies with no actual revenue stream owned by Woodbridge owners. The SEC believed that the money was just being moved from one place to another, generating no interest, and thus no returns for the investors.

Oakes & Fosher Can Help

Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this fashion may actually be entitled to damages.

Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Joel Flaningan, or any of the Woodbridge Mortgage Investment Funds, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.