SEC Announces Final Distribution in WG Trading Investment Fraud, Totaling Over $1 Billion Returned to Harmed Investors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington D.C., Sept. 11, 2020 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that the court-appointed receiver has begun the final distribution to investors in connection with the SEC's action against defendants Paul Greenwood, Steven Walsh, and their affiliated WG Trading entities. Upon completion of this final distribution, over $1 billion will have been returned to affected investors, representing 100% of their net principal investments.
The SEC charged Walsh, Greenwood, and their affiliated entities with orchestrating a brazen investment fraud involving the misappropriation of investor assets. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed related charges against the defendants at the same time. The SEC obtained emergency relief and, ultimately, judgments against the defendants, and Walsh and Greenwood pleaded guilty in parallel criminal actions based on the same underlying conduct. The court-appointed receiver in this matter, Robb Evans & Associates, LLC, has made four previous distributions to injured investors: in December 2010, in April 2011, in April 2013, and in October 2015. This final distribution was approved by the court on Aug. 24, 2020.
"This final distribution is a demonstration of the SEC's resolute commitment to protecting investors and seeking justice for victims of fraud," said SEC Enforcement Director Stephanie Avakian. "We are proud to join with our colleagues at the CFTC to announce this full return of investors' net principal investments."
"This case serves as yet another example of the value of working with our law enforcement and regulatory partners to preserve the integrity of our markets and protect customers," added CFTC Division of Enforcement Director James McDonald. "In the end, the funds marshalled by the court-appointed receiver were enough to make the victims of this fraud whole and we are pleased to join the SEC in announcing this positive outcome."
The SEC's litigation in this matter has been conducted by Paul Gizzi and Thomas P. Smith, Jr. of the New York Regional Office, and has been supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa. The SEC appreciates the assistance of U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the CFTC.