More charged, $12 million to victims: an update in South Florida company’s $281 million fraud

By David J. Neal
December 28, 2020

Victims of the 1 Global Capital fraud received another $12 million this week and the Securities and Exchange Commission charged three more unregistered brokers allegedly involved in selling the Hallandale Beach company’s securities this month.

But that $12 million and the $317,690 from one of the men charged by the SEC still might be scant solace to the 3,600 investors scammed out of hundreds of millions by 1 Global Capital’s white collar gang.


Cassel Salpeter’s James Cassel, liquidating trustee of the 1 GC Collections Creditors’ Liquidating Trust, said the $12 million brings the total returned to investors to $124 million, about 44 cents on the dollar.

“I got a phone call from a retired teacher in California who put $10,000, everything she had other than Social Security, into the the company. That is who I’m working for,’” Cassel said he told another attorney connected to the case. “We want to feel we’ve maximized recovery for over 3,500 investors, who are, unfortunately, going to lose money.”

At 44 cents on the dollar, that puts the amount ripped off at $281.8 million. Various court documents place the amount at $322 million.


As stated in various court documents of those already convicted of their role, 1 Global Capital was sold to investors as a short-term, high-interest cash lender for small businesses. Investors would get their principal and some interest when the businesses repaid 1 Global.

Lies fooled those investors concerning the high commissions paid to middlemen and unlicensed brokers; the securities laws being broken, concealed by fraudulent legal opinions; the money sucked out of 1 Global for personal use by CEO Carl Ruderman; and the $50 million in arrears the group attempted to cover up, Ponzi-scheme style.

Over the last 15 months, the Justice Department and SEC pulled a parade of 1 Global cronies through the federal courts on their way to federal prison.

  • Chief financial officer Alan Heide​ already is sitting in federal prison in Jesup, Georgia until December 2024 after pleading guilty to securities fraud.
  • Attorney Jan Atlas’ sentencing has been set for Jan. 21 on securities fraud.
  • Former 1 Global director Steven Schwartz is set for sentencing April 9 on
    securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
  • Attorney Andrew Ledbetter has entered a plea agreement​ on those same charges and even was allowed to travel to Washington D.C. to spend Thanksgiving with his adult son.

Ruderman still hasn’t been criminally charged. ​The SEC gained a judgment against him​ in 2019 that included a $32 million disgorgement, a $15 million civil penalty, another $750,000 in cash; and half the equity in his five-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 9,600-square-foot tower suite condominium at Aventura’s Bella Vista North, 20165 NE 39th Pl.


The SEC charged Roger E. Dobrovodsky, a 66-year-old from Indianapolis, with being an unregistered broker during the 16 months in 2017 and 2018 that he sold 1 Global Capital securities while using fraudulent materials. The SEC says Dobrovodsky has consented, without legally admitting any wrong, to giving up the $317,690 he made in commission, $32,038 in prejudgment interest and $50,000 civil penalty.

The amounts of those punitive payments from Robert Seth of Georgetown, Texas, the SEC says, still have to be determined although Seth’s consented to them. He made almost $282,000 in commissions, the SEC charges, from his two years of selling 1 Global securities as an unregistered broker.

Matthew Walker, 40, from Olathe, Kansas, is the managing partner and chief compliance officer of Pinnacle Plus Wealth Management. The SEC says Walker, also, was an unregistered broker who kept selling 1 Global securities until June 2018, “despite being confronted with numerous red flags that the 1 Global investments were not what he had been told and that 1 Global officers had not been honest with him.”

The SEC says Walker earned $393,306 in commissions and his companies earned another $300,000. Most of his customers, numbered at over 140, were from the Kansas City area.

Click here to read the full article.

Bankruptcy trustee recovers $12M more for victims of $332M 1 Global Capital fraud

By Ashley Portero
December 28, 2020 

A bankruptcy trustee recovered and distributed $12 million to thousands of creditors who were victims of a $332 million investment fraud.

Cassel Salpeter and Co. chairman and co-founder James S. Cassel, who was appointed director of 1 Global Capital’s estate in bankruptcy court, said about 3,750 creditors that invested in the company received a payment. To date, Cassel has recovered $124 million on behalf of 1 Global Capital victims, after distributing an initial $112 million payment to investors in 2019.

“Considering the challenges posed in collecting on 4,000 cash advances and pursuing legal actions all over the country, this significant additional distribution is a spectacular result for a situation like this,” Cassel said. “It is a testament to the team of professionals and the staff who worked diligently to continue the recovery efforts during the difficult year of 2020.”

Cassel said the liquidating trust will continue to pursue actions to generate additional returns to creditors.

Hallandale Beach-based 1 Global Capital, which provided loans to small businesses, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018.

Soon after the bankruptcy filing, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges against the company and former CEO Carl Ruderman, claiming they fraudulently raised $332 million from investors.

According to the SEC lawsuit, 1 Global Capital overstated the value of investors’ accounts and their rate of returns and misappropriated at least $32 million to personally benefit Ruderman. Ruderman agreed to disgorge $32 million in ill- gotten gains and pay a $15 million civil penalty to settle the charges.

Many of the scheme’s victims were elderly individuals who invested between $50,000 and $100,000, Cassel said.

Earlier this month, the SEC charged three former 1 Global Capital sales agents with federal securities registration violations. The commission alleged the trio collectively sold more than $21 million in unregistered transactions to retail investors while acting as unregistered brokers.

In September, the SEC filed charges against Fort Lauderdale attorney Andrew Dale Ledbetter for allegedly using false legal opinion letters to raise $100 million from investors as outside counsel for 1 Global Capital.

Click here to read the PDF.

Though slow to come, better times are ahead | Opinion

2020 highlighted how critical agility is for middle market businesses, with many rapidly reinventing themselves to secure their future. While many technology and ancillary companies thrived, if your business did not fulfill a need created, or required by the pandemic, you likely had to be especially creative to stay afloat. While we are not through with 2020’s pandemic challenges, a gradual comeback is on the horizon, even as many traditional business norms may never be the same.

Here are four areas that companies need to watch in 2021:

Technology: Software and artificial intelligence will continue to revolutionize labor. Advances in virtual reality now promise equal or increased productivity from the comfort of your home office. Meanwhile, telemedicine, video conferencing, and a slew of apps with expanding capabilities exploded in usage with much faster adaptation than anticipated, but also with some obvious limits. Technology will continue to define 2021, but how much so and what will stick remains a question.

Work-from-home (WFH): Call me contrarian, but as an investment banker, I find it hard to achieve the same productivity working from home, especially when it comes to new client origination. In my view, you also lose corporate culture, camaraderie and collaboration.

However, some studies disagree, positing that productivity increases when employees work from home. For those working from home with families, the intangible benefits of spending more time with them is now evident, and they will likely lobby for WFH to continue.

For companies that can provide the option, a hybrid model seems likely, with some days spent at the business location or traveling, and others spent working from home. But keep in mind this is simply not an option for many industries.

How will the COVID vaccine rollout go? Will the vaccines be like a flu shot? Will enough people take them? Will vaccines be required yearly, and will each be as effective? Once taken, what comes next? Is it back to the office immediately, or will we ease back into reentry? How long will your immunity last?

Given our interconnectivity, these answers will have huge implications for the 2021 marketplace, but without knowing them, businesses will find it difficult to plan next moves. Flexibility will be key. In any case, the rollout’s impact likely won’t be felt until the second part of the year.

Will we even go out when it’s safe? This newly guarded approach to life has many wary of shaking hands or venturing to business functions. But your company can’t grow unless you’re hunting and securing fresh opportunities, while also developing new relationships. At some point, people will certainly break out of their silos in 2021, but how often, and what must be done to make us be and feel truly safe? Finding the right pace will prove a balancing act.

So much remains uncertain. Most of us survived 2020, albeit not unscathed, and we saw the acceleration of innovations like virtual meetings, telemedicine and WFH. Many of these changes are here to stay, and yet, even with an ambitious vaccine rollout, much business activity may look like it did in 2020, especially for the first half of 2021. There are, however, promising bright spots ahead, but much we have to watch carefully to make the best adjustments and come out on top in 2021.

James S. Cassel is co-founder and chairman of Cassel Salpeter & Co., LLC, an investment- banking firm with headquarters in Miami that works with middle-market companies. or via LinkedIn at

Click here to read the full article.

SunSentinel Logo

Creditors recovering another $12 million lost in Broward securities fraud case

By David Lyons
December 23, 2020

It’s technically not a gift for the holidays. But the 3,750 investors and other creditors allegedly defrauded by a payday loan operation based in Hallandale Beach will gladly accept the $12 million recovered on their behalf.

The money is the latest distribution to people who are said to have lost more than $300 million to a business called 1 Global Capital. The firm filed for bankruptcy in mid-2018 after running short of cash amid a Securities and Exchange Commission probe that led to civil fraud charges against a variety of individuals, as well as criminal charges against lawyers by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami.

“There was a substantial group of investors in South Florida” who lost money, said James S. Cassel, trustee of the 1 GC Collections Creditors’ Liquidating Trust and chairman of the Miami investment banking firm Cassel Salpeter & Co.

Last year around this time, creditors received $112 million thanks to the efforts of a court-appointed legal team that tracked down assets connected to
the companies.

The latest distribution pushes the total sent back to investors up to $124 million, or 44 cents on the dollar, Cassel said Wednesday. Other firms involved in the recovery include Baker Mckenzie, Greenberg Traurig, Development Specialists, Inc., along with special counsel Genovese Joblove & Battista, and Stichter, Riedel, Blain & Postler, P.A,

According to allegations brought by the SEC, 1 Global was a commercial lending business that made the equivalent of payday loans with high interest rates to small businesses. The firm obtained the funds to make the loans from investors nationwide, offering short-term investment contracts. The investors would supposedly receive a proportionate share of the principal and interest payments as the loans to the small businesses were repaid.

1 Global, according to federal authorities, raised money using investment advisers and others who were promised significant commissions.
Many of the investor victims funneled retirement funds by the tens of thousands into the operation, Cassel said.

Last week, the SEC in Miami filed civil charges against three more individuals for illegally selling securities of 1 Global Capital, LLC in unregistered transactions to retail investors while acting as unregistered brokers.

The commission previously charged 1 Global, its owner and others with operating a fraudulent scheme to misappropriate millions of dollars from investors. The SEC also charged 1 Global’s largest sales agent for various registration violations.

The SEC’s latest complaints alleged that Roger E. Dobrovodsky, Robert Todd Seth and Matthew L. Walker were among 1 Global’s top revenue producers, cumulatively selling more than $21 million in unregistered transactions to many retail investors, according to a statement.

According to civil complaints filed by the commission, the three men marketed 1 Global securities to investors “as a safe alternative to the stock
market and reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions on their sales even though they were not registered as broker-dealers or associated with registered broker-dealers.”


Click here to read the PDF.