Articles Posted in Western International Securities

After filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month and failing to file its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year, GWG Holdings, Inc. will now be delisted from Nasdaq.   On May 17, 2022, the Nasdaq Stock Market announced that it would delist the common stock of GWG Holdings, Inc.  Since April 29, 2022, the stock has been suspended and has not been traded.

New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP is investigating potential legal claims related to investments in L Bonds offered by GWG Holdings, Inc. (GWGH). To read about the investigation’s findings, including a crucial event timeline, please visit our website:  www.gwglawyer.com.

GWG Holdings, Inc.’s bankruptcy filing revealed for the first time that the ongoing SEC investigation includes an examination of sales practices of the GWG L Bonds by the brokerage firms that sold the securities, including Emerson Equity and its network of regional broker-dealers.  According to the bankruptcy filing,  the United States Securities and Exchange Commission issued subpoenas and documents to individual brokerage firms selling GWG L Bonds.  As of the bankruptcy filing, GWG  Holdings, Inc.’ had over $1.62 billion in outstanding GWG L Bond obligations, mostly owed to retail investors.

Iorio Altamirano LLP, a securities arbitration law firm based in New York, NY, is investigating potential securities arbitration claims against Western International Securities, Inc. for its sale of L Bonds issued by GWG Holdings, Inc. Upon information and belief, Western International Securities, Inc. was a part of Emerson Equity LLC’s network of broker-dealers who sold the speculative, high-risk, and illiquid GWG L Bonds.  Iorio Altamirano LLP has spoken to several retail investors who purchased GWG L Bonds through the recommendation of broker Dan Beech, who was registered with Western International Securities in Westlake Village, CA, from May 10, 2016, until March 9, 2022.

On April 20, 2022, GWG Holdings, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, allowing GWG Holdings to propose a reorganization plan.  However, many GWG L Bond investors, who have not received interest or maturity payments since January 2022, are skeptical that they will see a return of their invested capital. Investment News has reported that one anonymous GWG L bond investor estimates that the GWG L Bonds may now be worth 20 to 30 cents on the dollar.

According to the bankruptcy filings, the SEC has been investigating the sales practices related to GWG L Bonds.  We believe that this investigation includes the sales practices of Emerson Equity and its regional broker-dealers, such as Western International Securities, Inc.

After months of working with legal and financial advisors to try and restructure outside of court, on April 20, 2022, GWG Holdings, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The bankruptcy filing is a significant and troublesome development for GWG L Bond investors who invested substantial portions of their life savings into GWG L Bonds. According to GWG’s latest filing with the SEC, GWG has more than $1.6 billion in aggregate principal outstanding to GWG L Bond investors. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy will allow GWG Holdings to propose a reorganization plan.

Investment News has reported that one anonymous GWG L bond investor estimates that the GWG L Bonds may now be worth 20 to 30 cents on the dollar.  Despite the unwelcomed news, GWG L bond investors are not without recourse. Many retail investors, including those represented by securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP, are filing securities arbitration claims against brokerage firms that sold these speculative, high-risk, and illiquid financial products.  These actions are separate and in addition to the bankruptcy proceedings.

GWG Holdings’ bankruptcy filing revealed for the first time that the ongoing investigation by the United States States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) includes an examination of sales practices of the GWG L Bonds by the Selling Group, including  Emerson Equity LLC and its network of regional broker-dealers.  According to the recent bankruptcy filing, the SEC issued subpoenas and document requests to individual brokerage firms beginning in late-2021.

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.

Over the past calendar year, GPB Capital investors have won over $2.4 million in monetary awards in 10 out of 11 (nearly 91%) arbitration claims that have proceeded to a final hearing.  According to public records, many other claims filed against broker-dealers who sold the private placements offered by GPB Capital have been settled for monetary compensation.

The judgments and awards come after years of filing lawsuits and arbitration claims by GPB Capital investors.

For our latest posts related to GPB Capital, please click here.

Western International Securities, Inc. is a broker-dealer and registered investment adviser (RIA) headquartered in Pasadena, California.  The firm was formed in April 1995.

Iorio Altamirano LLP is investigating claims on behalf of defrauded investors who were victims in the GPB funds scheme. The GPB funds were marketed to independent broker-dealers and investment advisers who would, in turn, sell the GPB funds to their retail investors. According to publicly available records filed with the SEC, broker-dealer Western International Securities, Inc. likely received sales compensation for selling the GPB funds to retail investors.

If you lost money in GPB funds with Western International Securities, Inc., you may have a claim.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has barred compliance officer Corey White from the securities industry and fined him $20,000.  Mr. White was expelled from the brokerage industry for supervisory failures during his tenure as a compliance officer for Financial West Group in Westlake Village, CA, from January 2013 to July 2017.  Among other things, Mr. White was accused of failing to respond to red flags that indicated brokers were excessively trading customer’s accounts.  FINRA previously barred Financial West Group from the securities industry in February 2020.

Mr. White left Financial West Group in August 2017 to become a compliance officer at Western International Securities, Inc. in Pasadena, CA.

Financial West Group and Western International Securities Inc. seem to be cut from the same cloth.  Earlier this month, FINRA filed a disciplinary proceeding complaint against former Western International Securities broker Megurditch Patatian (aka Mike Patatian), alleging that he unsuitably recommended illiquid REITs to 59 customers.  Mr. Patatian worked out of the firms’ branch office in Westlake Village, CA.  You can read more about the charges here:

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Department of Enforcement has filed a disciplinary proceeding complaint against broker Megurditch Patatian (aka Mike Patatian) alleging that, while associated with Western International Securities, Inc., Mr. Patatian engaged in conduct in violation of FINRA rules, including:

  • making 81 unsuitable recommendations to purchase over $7.8 million in non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to 59 customers, including 21 senior investors;
  • recommending illiquid non-traded REIT to six customers that also needed liquidity;
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