Emerson Equity Appears to Have Paid Over $6 Million in Defending and Settling GWG L Bond Claims

In recent court filings, Emerson Equity LLC has disclosed that it has paid over $2.1 million in attorney fees and arbitration costs through January 1, 2024, to defend itself from more than 60 customer complaints related to its sale of GWG L Bonds. In addition, according to public disclosure reports for its brokers, Emerson Equity LLC has paid over $4.2 million in settlements in 2023 and the first few days of 2024.

The customer complaints are primarily FINRA securities arbitration complaints that were brought by GWG L Bond investors who were sold speculative, high-risk, illiquid, high-commission, and unrated GWG L Bonds by the firm’s brokers, including Tony Barouti. More than half of Emerson Equity’s GWG L Bond-related customer disputes arise out of recommendations made by Mr. Barouti.

Although Emerson Equity’s legal fees and settlements have surpassed $6 million, the cost represents less than one-third of the $20.1 million that the firm received from GWG Holdings Inc. for brokerage services from June 2018 through June 2022.

Iorio Altamirano LLP, a securities arbitration law firm that represents investors, continues to investigate potential claims against Emerson Equity for its role in selling the highly speculative and risky GWG L Bonds to retail investors.

The law firm’s investigation is ongoing after three separate arbitration panels awarded investors damages in connection with the sale of L Bonds by their financial advisors and firms.

Iorio Altamirano LLP represents dozens of GWG L Bond investors across the country and encourages investors who are taking a “wait and see approach” to act now.   As the GWG Wind Trustee continues to liquidate GWG’s assets, it is becoming more evident that the GWG L Bonds, now the New Series A1 WDT Interests, are nearly worthless.

Iorio Altamirano LLP continues to believe that GWG L Bonds investors’ best avenue for potential recovery of losses is to file a separate FINRA arbitration claim against their brokerage firms. Iorio Altamirano LLP has already helped GWG L Bond investors recover nearly $2 million in losses. These claims are separate and in addition to the liquidation of GWG through the GWG Wind Down Trust. 

Investors who purchased GWG L Bonds through Emerson Equity LLC or any other broker-dealer are encouraged to contact Iorio Altamirano LLP (www.gwglawyer.com) for a free and confidential consultation and to review their legal rights. We can review and analyze potential claims and advise individuals of their legal rights without obligation or cost.

To read more about GWG L Bonds and the alleged misconduct, please visit our investigation page: Iorio Altamirano LLP’s Investigation of GWG L Bonds.

Emerson Equity LLC (CRD No. 130032)

Emerson Equity LLC is a dually registered investment adviser and broker-dealer headquartered in San Mateo, CA. The firm is registered in 53 U.S. states and territories and has approximately 206 registered representatives nationwide.

GWG Holdings, Inc. sold the GWG L Bonds through Emerson Equity, its dealer-manager, and a network of regional broker-dealers, who pitched the products to individual retail investors. Emerson Equity and selling agents received up to 5% of the principal amount of the GWG L Bonds sold. The selling brokerage firms also received additional compensation and commissions, up to 8% of the aggregate gross proceeds from the sale of GWG L Bonds.

Emerson Equity was the largest seller of the GWG L Bonds to retail customers. Between 2018 and 2022, GWG paid Emerson Equity approximately $20.1 million in commissions for brokerage services to sell its securities.

Upon information and belief, GWG L Bonds were sold by the following brokers who were associated with Centaurus Financial:

  • Tony Barouti, Los Angeles, CA (CRD No. 3031995).
  • Scott Blackman, San Mateo, CA (CRD No. 4684484).
  • Darrach Bourke, Mill Valley, CA, (CRD No. 5255413).
  • Timothy Brown, San Mateo, CA, (CRD No. 1663519).
  • Fred Chen, Irvine, CA, (CRD No. 5766069).
  • Eric Dec, San Mateo, CA, (CRD No. 2185598).
  • Raymond DesRosiers, Richmond, VA, (CRD No. 4621826).
  • James Kent, JR., San Mateo, CA & Pinellas Park, FL, (CRD No. 2255753).
  • Robert Melberth, Sarasota, FL, (CRD No. 4775230).
  • Daniel Pikula, Wellington, FL, (CRD No. 2563165).
  • Jason Plucinak, San Mateo, CA & Minneapolis, MN, (CRD No. 4889443).
  • Ryan Sherer, Reno, NV, (CRD No. 5952617).
  • Tim Sherer, Reno, NV, (CRD No. 833618).

Attention Investors: Did Emerson Equity recommend unsuitable investments, leaving you facing losses? Investors trust brokers and advisors to prioritize their financial well-being. However, when brokers like Emerson Equity fail to conduct proper due diligence, make suitable recommendations, or disclose crucial risks, investors suffer. You have rights! Brokerage firms and advisors are legally obligated to act in your best interest, which includes thorough product evaluation, transparent risk disclosure, and aligning recommendations with your specific financial goals. Breach of these obligations can lead to legal repercussions for the firm or advisor. If you suspect Emerson Equity misled you or recommended unsuitable investments, seek legal counsel to explore your options and potentially recover your losses.

About Iorio Altamirano LLP

Iorio Altamirano LLP is a securities arbitration law firm located in New York, NY. We represent investors nationwide and vigorously pursue FINRA arbitration claims on behalf of investors to recover investment losses.

We have over 20 years of combined experience as securities arbitration lawyers and have helped investors recover investment losses in over 1,000 cases. Our firm will file a FINRA securities arbitration claim on your behalf on a contingency fee basis to try to recover your losses. If we do not obtain a recovery, you do not owe us a legal fee.

If you have invested in L Bonds offered by GWG Holdings, contact securities arbitration lawyers August Iorio at august@ia-law.com or Jorge Altamirano at jorge@ia-law.com. Alternatively, call the firm toll-free at (855) 430-4010.

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