Horizon Private Equity Investors Sue Oppenheimer for Ponzi Scheme Losses
CLEVELAND, Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, investors in Horizon Private Equity, an alleged Ponzi scheme, filed claims in Georgia and in Kentucky against Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. Investors filed their claims in arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In both cases, the investors allege that Oppenheimer, a New York-based financial services company, played an early and important role in the formation and continuing operation of the alleged Horizon Private Equity scheme and demand it compensate them for the financial losses they incurred. An attorney for the Horizon investors, John Chapman, comments: “hundreds of Horizon investors – including many seniors and retirees – have lost over $110 million. And many of them depended upon Horizon’s distributions to make ends meet every month. In some cases, their retirement savings are now depleted. They have nothing left to live on.”
The investors’ lawsuit alleges Woods used Southport Capital, an investment advisory firm, to move customer accounts from Oppenheimer and lure investors into the Horizon alleged Ponzi scheme, dangling promises of “guaranteed’ returns between 6-7% with little-to-no risk. In reality, none of the investors’ funds were invested as promised but, were instead misappropriated or diverted to pay later investors, in typical Ponzi-scheme-like fashion.
According to the investor complaints, during the time Woods was an Oppenheimer investment professional, between 2003 and 2016, his Horizon Private Equity scheme incubated in a Southport Capital office located in rented space just down the hall from Oppenheimer’s Atlanta, Georgia branch office. The investor complaint alleges investors’ money flowed from Oppenheimer customer accounts into Woods’ alleged Horizon schemes. “Firms like Oppenheimer are charged with the responsibility of protecting investors by keeping a sharp eye out for employee misconduct and security law violations, comments Attorney Chapman. “Oppenheimer turned a blind-eye to red flags which showed serious ongoing misconduct by Woods. If it had investigated any of it, it would have surely uncovered the alleged Ponzi scheme.”
“Horizon Private Equity appears to have been an enormous scheme and it spread like a cancer for more than fifteen years,” says Chapman. “It’s easy to point the finger of blame at Woods, but there were plenty of brokers and advisors, financial service firms, and others who were only too willing to help him. We’re going to make sure that those responsible for perpetrating this alleged fraud--—not the unsuspecting investors—bear the consequences of their misconduct.” The Georgia and Kentucky actions are the first of many that the attorneys at ChapmanAlbin, LLC and the Law Office of Craig H. Kuglar are preparing to file on behalf of investors. Mr. Chapman can be reached by phone at 1-877-410-8172 or by email at email@example.com.
SOURCE Chapman, Albin