Articles Posted in Bonds

On September 14, 2022, Western International Securities, Inc. filed its Answer to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Complaint denying that the firm violated the standards under Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”) in approving, recommending, and supervising the sale of speculative, high-risk, and illiquid L Bonds issued by GWG Holdings, Inc.

The case, which is being litigated in the United States District Court of the Central District of California, is being closely watched by investors and the securities industry alike because it is the first substantive enforcement action brought by the SEC against a broker-dealer since Reg BI went into effect on June 30, 2020.

See AlsoLaw Firm Investigating the Sale of GWG L Bonds to Retail Investors by Western International Securities, Inc.

New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP is investigating the sales practices of broker Mark Williams connected with his recommendation of L Bonds issued by GWG Holdings, Inc. to senior and elderly customers. From November 2015 until March 2021, Mr. Williams was registered as a broker with Centaurus Financial, Inc. in Carmel, CA.

Iorio Altamirano LLP has been contacted by numerous senior and elderly retail investors who were recommended and sold GWG’s L Bonds by Mr. Williams. GWG’s L Bonds are speculative, high-risk, and illiquid securities that were sold as private placement offerings.  Brokerage firms received a commission of up to 5% of the principal amount sold.

On January 15, 2022, GWG Holdings Inc. missed interest and principal payments to L bond investors. The company is also reportedly seeking rescue financing in an effort to avoid bankruptcy after facing a series of accounting issues, financial stress, and an SEC investigation. In addition, GWG’s independent auditor resigned at the end of 2021, and the company has disclosed that its 2021 financials are not likely to be completed on time. These are just a few recent developments that have GWG L Bond investors concerned.

Investor advocate law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP is investigating potential securities arbitration claims against Centaurus Financial, Inc. for its sale of L Bonds issued by GWG Holdings, Inc. Upon information and belief, Centaurus Financial, Inc. was a part of Emerson Equity LLC’s network of broker-dealers who sold the speculative, high-risk, and illiquid “L Bonds” issued by GWG Holdings. 

On April 20, 2022, GWG Holdings, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Despite the unwelcomed news, GWG L Bond investors can file individual arbitration claims to recover losses from the brokerage firm that sold them these speculative bonds.  Brokerage firms, like Centaurus Financial, Inc., are required to make investment recommendations that are suitable and in the best interest of their customers.  Brokerage firms and financial advisors must also disclose all material facts and risks of a security when making a recommendation. When a firm or advisor fails to meet these standards of conduct, they can be held liable for damages.

Firms and brokers are also required to conduct reasonable due diligence on products they offer before recommending them to any clients. There are serious concerns that some broker-dealers failed to understand the material risks and features of GWG L Bonds.  For example, in April 2020, Centaurus Financial raised the cap on how much the firm would allow customers to purchase despite GWG’s significant departure from the life settlements business and its foray into a risker alternative asset business, making it a much larger credit risk. The limit was raised from $100,000 to $150,000, or no more than 10% of the customer’s net worth (excluding primary residence), whichever is less.  August Iorio, a managing partner of Iorio Altamirano LLP, was recently quoted in Investment News about Centaurus Financials’ remarkable decision.

New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP is investigating potential securities arbitration claims against Emerson Equity LLC and its network of broker-dealers for their sale of L Bonds issued by GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: GWGH).

On January 15, 2022, GWG Holdings Inc., a company known for selling life-insurance bonds, missed interest and principal payments to L bond investors. The company is also reportedly seeking rescue financing in an effort to avoid bankruptcy after facing a series of accounting issues, financial stress, and an SEC investigation.

GWG’s L Bonds are speculative, high-risk, and illiquid securities that were sold as private placement offerings.

**Update:  April 20, 2022** GWG Holdings, Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.  As a result of the bankruptcy filing, all accrued principal and interest payment obligations owed to GWG L Bond investors have been halted as the case proceeds through bankruptcy court.  Chapter 11 Bankruptcy cases can take anywhere from 17 months to five years for larger and more complex cases.  Despite the unwelcomed news, investors are not without recourse and are encouraged to contact New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP to review their legal rights. 

*Update: April 4, 2022**  According to the Wall Street Journal, GWG Holdings, Inc. is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the coming days.  The news of GWG’s impending bankruptcy filing is troubling for retail investors who invested significant portions of their life savings into GWG L Bonds. Investment News has reported that one anonymous GWG L bond investor estimates that the GWG L Bonds would be worth 20 to 30 cents on the dollar if GWG files for bankruptcy.

**Update:  April 1, 2022**  GWG Holdings, Inc. was unable to timely file its 2021 annual report with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). GWG Holdings, Inc. has now failed to timely file annual reports with the SEC in three of the past four years. To read more, visit our latest blog post:  GWG Holdings, Inc. Misses Deadline to File Its 2021 Annual Report with the SEC

Iorio Altamirano LLP is investigating potential claims involving investments in L Bonds offered by GWG Holdings (Nasdaq: GWGH).

On July 26, 2021, GWG Holdings canceled its Combined 2020/2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders originally convened and adjourned on May 28, 2021.

Prior to this cancellation, on July 7, 2021, Nasdaq warned GWG Holdings that it risked the potential delisting of its stock over the company’s failure to hold an annual meeting of shareholders and file its most recent Forms 10-K and 10-Q on time.

FINRA has barred stockbroker Christopher B. Black from the securities industry.  FINRA handed down the expulsion because Mr. Black refused to provide information and documents connected with FINRA’s investigation into whether Mr. Black entered into undisclosed loan arrangements with a customer.  Mr. Black was a financial advisor at LPL Financial LLC in Statesboro, Georgia, from October 2017 until his employment was terminated in April 2020 for violating firm policy for not disclosing the loan arrangements.  Mr. Black has also been affiliated with the following business entities:  Renasant Financial Services and LPL Business.

Mr. Black has also been the subject of three customer complaints while employed by LPL Financial LLC.   First, in April 2020, a customer alleged that Mr. Black recommended the purchase of bonds that were not suitable for the investor.   A second customer filed a complaint in July 2020, also alleging misrepresentation and unsuitable recommendations regarding the purchase of bond investments.  Third, a customer filed a complaint in October 2020, which alleged that Mr. Black misappropriated funds between August 2019 and April 2020.  No further details are publicly available regarding this pending complaint.

Before his employment with LPL Financial LLC, Mr. Black was a financial advisor at Wells Fargo in St. Simons Island, Georgia, from November 2013 until September 2017.

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