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 agencys 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 SECs 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 agencys findings and remedies, as determined solely within the SECs internal administrative law process, were unsubstantiated by the body of evidence presented.
We are pleased with the commissions decision to dismiss the charges, said Shapiro, Keels 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, Keels 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 beginning.
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.