ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ALJ?src=hash” target=”_blank”gt;#ALJlt;/agt;–Keel Marinas, an investment firm specializing in the ownership and
operation of marinas, today announced that the Securities and Exchange
Commission dismissed all charges against former Timbervest LLC Managing
Partners Joel Shapiro, Bill Boden and David Zell. In addition, all prior
orders and findings issued by the SEC and its administrative law judges
in the case “no longer have any force or effect.”
At the time of the agency’s filing against Timbervest, Shapiro, Boden
and Zell served as chief executive officer, chief investment officer,
and chief operating officer, respectively. Founded in 1998, the
Atlanta-based investment firm managed approximately $1.8 billion in
timberland and environmental investments across the country. Its fund
management business was sold to a U.S.-based private equity firm in 2017.
The ruling successfully concludes several years of proceedings that
challenged the constitutionality of the SEC’s appointment of
administrative law judges, as featured by the Wall
Street Journal. Petitions filed by Shapiro, Boden and Zell also
challenged the initial rulings based on the equal protection and due
process clauses of the U.S. Constitution and statute of limitations.
Furthermore, the petitions asserted the agency’s findings and remedies,
as determined solely within the SEC’s internal administrative law
process, were unsubstantiated by the body of evidence presented.
“We are pleased with the commission’s decision to dismiss the charges,”
said Shapiro, Keel’s managing partner. “The successful closure of the
case is a significant step forward, as we continue to grow our new
investment platform through Keel Marinas.”
Boden, Keel’s managing partner, added, “While the case was protracted
and costly, we appreciate that the agency always has investors’ best
interests in mind. However, we never wavered at any point on the
validity of our petitions. We are pleased with this favorable outcome
and gratified on behalf of our investors who stood with us since the
“It was a long, arduous process, but an important one and it is
satisfying to have positive closure on events from many years ago,”
stated Zell, a Keel investment partner. “Timbervest was an industry
leader and we remain proud of the company we built with the support of
our clients and employees.”
George Kostolampros, partner at Venable LLP in Washington, D.C., served
as lead counsel for Shapiro, Boden and Zell.
About Keel Marinas
Founded in 2016, Atlanta-based Keel Marinas is an investment firm
focused on investing and operating coastal and freshwater marinas
throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.keelmarinas.com.