Articles Tagged with elder abuse

**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. GWG L Bond investors are encouraged to immediately contact law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation and 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.

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**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. GWG L Bond investors are encouraged to immediately contact law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation and to review their legal rights.

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GWG L Bond Investor Update: GWG Holdings, Inc. Officially Defaults on Its Obligations to L Bond Investors – February 14, 2022

Prominent securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP is investigating the sales practices of broker Tony Barouti connected with his recommendation of L Bonds issued by GWG Holdings, Inc. to senior and elderly customers.  Mr. Barouti is registered as a broker with Emerson Equity LLC in Los Angeles, CA, and is the CEO of Barouti Financial Services, LLC.

Iorio Altamirano LLP has been contacted by numerous senior and elderly retail investors who were recommended and sold GWG’s L Bonds by Mr. Barouti.  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.

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.

In an annual report more than two decades ago, Warren Buffett dispensed some wise words of knowledge: “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.Reportedly, Mr. Buffett was referring to knowing what risks a company is taking until it faces adverse conditions.  Mr. Buffett used the same phrase again in 2008 about the foolishness of large financial institutions exposed by falling home prices.

Mr. Buffett’s words of wisdom can also be applied to investment recommendations made by a financial advisor in a bull market.  Almost everyone looks like a genius in a booming market, including financial advisors.  However, when the stock market enters into a correction, or something even more dreadful, the real risks of an investment or investment strategy are exposed, often leaving a trail of investment losses in their wake.

Investors who have suffered investment losses due to unsuitable or misleading investment recommendations by brokers or brokerage firms should consult with a lawyer to review their legal rights.

On November 8, 2021, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and Aegis Capital Corp. (“Aegis Capital”) entered into Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2016051704305 (the “AWC”).  After conducting an investigation, FINRA alleged in the AWC that from July 2014 through December 2018, Aegis Capital failed to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system, including written supervisory procedures (WSPs), reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the suitability requirements of FINRA Rule 2111 as it pertains to excessive trading. As a result, Aegis Capital failed to identify trading in hundreds of customer accounts that were potentially excessive and unsuitable, including trading conducted by eight Aegis Capital registered representatives in the firm’s Melville and Wall Street branches whose trading in the accounts of 31 firm customers resulted in an average annualized cost-to-equity ratio (or break-even point) of 71.6%, an average annualized turnover rate of 34.9, combined customer costs (including commissions, markups or markdowns, margin interest, and fees) of more than $2.9 million, and cumulative losses of $4.6 million.

Additionally, the FINRA AWC alleged from July 2014 to June 2019, Aegis Capital failed to establish, maintain, and enforce a supervisory system, including WSPs, reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the suitability requirements of FINRA Rule 2111 when selling leveraged, inverse, and inverse-leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds (Non-Traditional ETFs) to retail customers. As a result, Aegis Capital failed to identify customers who purchased and held Non-Traditional ETFs for extended periods of time or whose purchase was inconsistent with their recorded investment objective, risk tolerance, or finances.

Customers of Aegis Capital, including customers that have been notified that they may be receiving restitution, should consult with a securities arbitration law firm.  If you or a loved one were a customer of Aegis Capital, contact  New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation and review of your legal rights.

On August 20, 2021, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed an emergency action to stop a fraudulent Ponzi scheme allegedly perpetrated by Marietta, Georgia resident John Woods and two entities he controls: registered investment adviser Livingston Group Asset Management Company, d/b/a Southport Capital (“Southport”), and investment fund Horizon Private Equity, III, LLC.

The complaint alleged that John Woods has been running a massive Ponzi scheme for over a decade. At the end of July 2021, Woods and Southport have raised more than $110 million from over 400 investors in 20 states by offering and selling membership units in Horizon Private Equity, III, LLC (“Horizon”).

Many of the victims are elderly retirees preyed upon by investment advisers at Southport Capital (“Southport”), a registered investment advisory firm owned and controlled by Woods.  According to the SEC’s complaint, Woods, Southport, and other Southport investment adviser representatives allegedly told investors that their Horizon investments were safe and they would receive returns of 6-7% interest, guaranteed for two to three years.  Investors were also allegedly told that they could get their principal back without penalty after a short waiting period.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has barred stockbroker Thomas Stratton from the securities industry for refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into whether Mr. Stratton misused customer funds with respect to the sale of promissory notes related to a third party’s life insurance policy, and misrepresentation thereto.   The investigation was launched after FINRA received a tip to FINRA’s Securities Helpline for Seniors.

Mr. Stratton has been associated with World Choice Securities, Inc. in Melbourne, Florida, since January 2004.

If you or a loved one were a customer of Thomas Stratton or World Choice Securities, Inc., contact  New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential consultation.   

On August 3, 2021, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and former Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C. stockbroker Eugene McAdams entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2020066887801 whereby Mr. McAdams consented to a bar from the securities industry.  Mr. McAdams consented to the expulsion after refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into whether he made suitable investment recommendations to customers while registered with Joseph Stone Capital.

Mr. McAdams, associated with Joseph Stone Capital from September 2015 to June 2020, has also been the subject of at least two customer complaints.  The causes of action of the two complaints, which resulted in monetary compensation to the customers, included excessive trading on margin, elder abuse, false and misleading statements, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and unauthorized trading.

If you have suffered financial losses investing with Eugene McAdams or Joseph Stone Capital L.L.C., or suspect that Mr. McAdams did not have your best interest in mind when recommending investments or making account transactions, contact New York securities arbitration law firm Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential review of your legal rights.

In an arbitration award published by FINRA on July 30, 2021, Boca Raton, Florida financial advisor William Friedman was ordered to pay $250,000 in damages to a Claimant.

Notably, Mr. Friedman was suspended by FINRA on July 2, 2021, over his failure to respond to a FINRA request for information. He is currently facing a potential bar from the securities industry on October 5, 2021, if he fails to request the termination of his suspension.

If you have lost money with Boca Raton, Florida financial advisor William Friedman, contact New York securities arbitration lawyers Iorio Altamirano LLP for a free and confidential evaluation of your account.

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