The law offices of Gana LLP has filed an arbitration complaint before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) alleging damages in excess of $3.7 million against Allstate Financial Services, LLC (Allstate) and the estate of Paul J. Godlewski (Godlewski). The complaint alleges improper supervision and selling away related to Godlewski’s fraudulent Ponzi scheme. Godlewski’s scheme was targeted at the retirement savings of around two dozen victims, mostly in the Pennsylvania area. The complaint alleges that Allstate failed to properly supervise and enforce compliance measures over Godlewski, one of Allstate’s registered representatives. The failure to supervise was alleged to cause violations of federal, state securities laws, and the financial industry’s rules and regulations. The complaint alleged that these investors, many of whom used IRA or 401K proceeds, have lost substantially all of their investment.
“I believe there are more victims out there who are in need of help to assert their rights under the securities industry rules,” according to securities attorney Adam Gana. As background on Godlewski, the broker was barred from the securities industry by FINRA in April 2015 after failing to respond to the regulator’s requests concerning his activities. In June 2015, Godlewski passed away. After Godlewski’s death many of his investors received letters from Godlewski’s estate stating that the estate was conducting a four to six months accounting on the assets and liabilities left behind by Godlewski. Beyond these brief correspondence, investors have been left in the dark as to the status of their funds.
In the complaint, it is alleged that Godlewski created a fictional persona of a brilliant venture capital fund manager in order to sell investors. Godlewski claimed that he created innovative trading algorithms and and managed funds with $100 million in assets under management. To promote this persona Godlewski made appearances on television talk shows such as Money Matters purporting to be the president of Global Enterprise Investment Venture Capital a/k/a GEIVC. GEIVC was one of the fraudulent funds that the complaint alleged Godlewski sold to claimants. Over time Godlewski’s scheme is alleged to evolved and improved in order to better protect Godlewski from being found out. These other more sophisticated funds include Tall Tree Note Fund I, LP (Tall Tree), another Godlewski fund, and 611 Swede Street LLC, a real estate property investment.
According to his FINRA Broker Check records, Godlewski was a broker with Allstate from March 2005 through January 2015. The complaint alleged that at some point in or around 2008 Godlewski began his investment scheme. Despite duties to properly supervise Godlewski, Allstate is alleged to have allowed him to sell various false securities in connection with his scheme for the rest of his tenure with the firm. It is alleged that Godlewski used his securities license as well as an insurance salesman position with Allstate to earn the trust of his clients, solicit investors, and defraud them of over approximately $5 million in funds known to date.
Godlewski’s persona, affiliation with Allstate, and television appearance were all designed to lull investors into a false sense of security and create a credible air of legitimacy. For instance, Godlewski provided many investors he encountered with his Allstate and Godlewski Enterprises business cards and held meetings with Godlewski at his Allstate office. The complaint claims that Godlewski specialized in targeting IRA and 401k accounts by claiming that investors were being excessive and unnecessary fees. Godlewski would also offer clients a 10% or 20% investment bonus for moving their funds to GEIVC or Tall Tree. The complaint alleges that all of the Godlewski investments were made without appropriate risk disclosures.
Investors or others with knowledge of the events at Godlewski Enterprises who seek further information or want to explore their recovery rights are encouraged to contact Gana LLP. Gana LLP has significant experience representing clients that are the victims of securities and investment fraud. For more information about the firm and its services please visit: www.ganalawfirm.com. Please contact Adam J. Gana, Esq., or Adam J. Weinstein, Esq., Gana LLP, 345 Seventh Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, NY, 10001, Telephone: (212) 776-4252, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.