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Introduction of AG William Barr at the Criminal Coordination Conference

Washington D.C.

Oct. 3, 2019

Good afternoon.

It is my pleasure to introduce Attorney General William Barr today.

I will begin by recognizing how fortunate we are to host, not just the Attorney General, but also the dedicated and talented group of public servants from the Department of Justice who are with us today to discuss how we work together to protect American investors and markets.

Now, let me tell you a little about our keynote speaker. Earlier this year, Attorney General Barr was sworn in as the 85th Attorney General of the United States, having previously served as the 77th Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush from 1991-1993. In addition to his years of government service in the Department of Justice, AG Barr served in the Central Intelligence Agency while attending law school.

AG Barr’s commitment to policing financial fraud has been evident throughout his career. He oversaw the DOJ’s response to the Savings & Loan crisis in the 1980s, and more recently through its crackdown on elder fraud schemes. Coincidently, just next door we are hosting a Roundtable on Combatting Elder Fraud, in which a participant from the DOJ’s Consumer Protection Branch is speaking this afternoon. Just one of the multiple examples of daily coordination and support between the DOJ and the SEC.

In that vein, I want to highlight two matters that had devastating effects on Main Street investors – 1Global and Woodbridge – where our efforts benefitted greatly from coordination between the SEC and DOJ.

1Global was an alleged $322 million offering fraud by a now-bankrupt cash advance company. [1] Investors, many of whom handed over their retirement funds, were promised profits from the company’s loans to small and mid-sized companies. Instead, their funds were diverted for lavish personal spending and other unrelated businesses. In the last several months, we’ve coordinated our filing of charges against multiple individuals.

In the Woodbridge Ponzi scheme, CEO Robert Shapiro bilked investors out of over $1 billion.[2] Again, many investor placed their retirement savings into this scheme on the promise of 5-10% annual returns from loans to purported third-party commercial property owners. Woodbridge’s business model, however, was a sham. Shapiro funneled the money into a web of companies to conceal his scheme, paid unregistered brokers to sell the securities, and pocketed millions to fund his lavish lifestyle. Earlier this year the SEC obtained a $1 billion judgment and the DOJ secured a guilty plea from Shapiro.

These are just a few of the many examples of effective coordination between our agencies that have come to fruition in the short time since AG Barr took the oath of office. Attorney General Barr, thank you for your support of our agency and our mission.

Also, thank you for taking the time today to be with us and emphasize the importance of the DOJ-SEC partnership to the protection of U.S. investors and markets.

It is my pleasure to introduce Attorney General William Barr.


[1] Litigation Release No. 24598, SEC Charges South Florida Securities Attorney with Issuing Misleading Opinion Letters that Furthered Fraud on Thousands of Retail Investors (Sept. 17, 2019), available at https://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2019/lr24598.htm; Litigation Release No. 24565, SEC Charges Former CFO of Florida Cash Advance Company with Defrauding Thousands of Retail Investors (Aug. 15, 2019), available at https://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2019/lr24565.htm.

[2] Press Release 2019-3, Court Orders $1 Billion Judgment Against Operators of Woodbridge Ponzi Scheme Targeting Retail Investors (Jan. 28, 2019, available at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2019-3.

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