Attention Oppenheimer & Co. Investors: KlaymanToskes Continues Investigation of Horizon Private Equity III Fund

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Updated on: December 13, 2022

The Law Firm of KlaymanToskes Seeks Recovery for Ponzi Scheme Investment Losses

National investment fraud lawyers KlaymanToskes continues their investigation of the “Horizon Private Equity III” fund after filing FINRA arbitration case 22-00866 earlier this year. The claim seeks compensation from Oppenheimer & Co. after the investors suffered $1 million in investment losses related to the alleged decade-long, $110 million Ponzi scheme.

400 victims in 20 states placed their trust and confidence in John Woods (CRD# 1949223) under the premise that Oppenheimer & Co. supervised, regulated, and approved their investments. Many of those investors have yet to take legal action.

If you suffered investment losses with John Justin Woods, Oppenheimer & Co., or/and Horizon Private Equity, contact attorney Lawrence L. Klayman at 888-997-9956 or lklayman@klaymantoskes.com to discuss your recovery options.

Who is John J. Woods? How might Oppenheimer & Co. be liable?

John Woods (CRD# 1949223) has been the subject of 32 customer complaints between 2008 and 2022, according to Brokercheck, with investors seeking a total of over $78 million in alleged damages.

While under the supervision of Oppenheimer & Co., Woods created the “Horizon Private Equity III” fund which he used to raise money from investors for an alleged Ponzi scheme. Oppenheimer’s management aided and concealed Wood’s Ponzi scheme from both regulators and the investing public. All activities related to the Horizon fund occurred at Southport Capital, another firm owned and operated by Woods.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an emergency action in August 2021 to stop the alleged Ponzi scheme. The complaint charges Woods, his companies, and co-conspirators with violating the antifraud provisions of federal securities laws.

According to the complaint, John Woods allegedly solicited clients, including “many elderly retirees,” to invest in the Ponzi scheme through misleading representations that Horizon would provide guaranteed and consistent returns. However, “Horizon did not earn any significant profits from legitimate investments” and “a very large percentage of purported ‘returns’ to earlier investors were simply paid out of new investor money.”

SEC Unsure of Ponzi Scheme’s Full Scope

While Woods resigned from Oppenheimer in 2016, the Ponzi scheme continued raising money from investors until at least July, 2021. Oppenheimer knew or should have known of Woods’ involvement in both Horizon and Southport, yet failed to warn its investors of Woods’ involvement in both companies.

In its report, the SEC stated that it had not yet discovered the Ponzi scheme’s full scope due to the duration, size, and length of the operation, but that as of July 2021, “Horizon owed investors more than $110 million in principal” and had “less than $16 million in liquid assets.”

Who Else May Be Involved?

In June 2022, the SEC filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against several of Woods’ co-conspirators for their alleged involvement in the Horizon Ponzi scheme fraud.

According to the complaint, “They fueled the Ponzi scheme by recommending that advisory clients invest or maintain at least $62 million in Horizon III, representing more than half of the total funds invested in the Horizon III scheme.”

It is alleged that the following brokers, previously registered with Southport Capital, recommended and sold Horizon Private Equity to their clients:

KlaymanToskes encourages investors who did business with any of the brokers listed above to review their portfolios for signs of broker misconduct and/or investment losses. If you suspect misconduct, or if you invested in Horizon III, we encourage you to immediately contact securities attorney Lawrence L. Klayman at (888) 997-9956 or lklayman@klaymantoskes.com to discuss recovery options.

About KlaymanToskes

KlaymanToskes is a leading national securities law firm which practices exclusively in the field of securities arbitration and litigation on behalf of retail and institutional investors throughout the world in large and complex securities matters. The firm has recovered more than $250 million for investors in FINRA arbitrations and over $350 million in other securities litigation matters for its clients. KlaymanToskes has office locations in California, Florida, New York, and Puerto Rico.


KlaymanToskes, P.A.
Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq.