“America’s Money Answer Man” and self-described “media influencer,” Jordan Goodman, has been charged with fraud for taking part in a massive $1.2 billion Woodbridge Ponzi scheme that bilked at least 4,400 people, many of them seniors, out of their retirement money, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday. Goodman reportedly was fined $2.6 million by the agency.

Goodman, a Fox television financial guru, author or co-author of 13 financial books, radio host and public speaker, engaged in the pyramid scheme from 2014 until December 2017, the SEC said. He allegedly helped convince investors to put money into a series of securities for real estate deals through Woodbridge Group of Companies, which he touted on radio shows as safe and secure investments, the SEC said.

At the time, he was an unregistered representative of Woodbridge. He cooperated with 12 others who were charged Wednesday, along with 10 companies, for their involvement in the scheme. Five others were charged earlier and some have reached settlements with the commission without admitting guilt or innocence in the case which has already stretched over months. The 18 individuals were top earners at Woodbridge, the complaint said.

Woodbridge collapsed in bankruptcy a year ago and investors have not received any payments or a return of their investments since then. The charges were filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida because some of the victims live there; however Goodman lives in Elmsford, N.Y., and many of the land deals were supposedly in California.

In addition to appearances on Fox Business Network, Goodman has appeared on CNN, CNBC and CBS and for 18 years was on the editorial staff of Money magazine where he was the Wall Street correspondent. His website, MoneyAnswers.com described him as a nationally recognized expert on personal finance.

During the time he was allegedly associated with Woodbridge, Goodman received millions of dollars in commissions for convincing investors to put money into the fraudulent scheme without revealing those commissions to investors, the SEC said.

“Our continuing investigation of Woodbridge seeks to hold those who aided this massive fraud accountable and to return funds to the harmed investors,” said Eric Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami regional office.

The SEC is seeking court ordered injunctions against the people and companies involved, return of the allegedly ill-gotten gains and financial penalties.

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has issued an investor alert warning seniors about investment fraud and telling them what to look for. The Division of Enforcement’s Retail Strategy Task Force issued another alert about Ponzi schemes targeting seniors. The SEC strongly encourages investors to use the agency’s investor.gov website to check the backgrounds of people selling them investments to identify whether they are registered professionals.

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