Did Emerson Equity Broker Tony Barouti Sell You GWG L Bonds?
The Investment Broker Fraud Law Firm of Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas Is Continuing To Investigate Investor Losses
If you are an investor who suffered losses in GWG Holdings L Bonds, please contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (investorlawyers.com) today. To date, our Investment Broker Fraud Law Firm has filed a number of broker fraud lawsuits against the broker-dealers and, in some cases, their registered representatives who allegedly unsuitably sold these high-risk junk bonds to investors. GWG Holdings is accused of operating a more than $1.6B Ponzi scam.
Unfortunately, dozens of regional broker-dealers and their brokers failed to conduct the necessary due diligence into these investments, especially in the last few years when investors’ money was being used without their knowledge to fund chair Brad Heppner’s Beneficient Company as opposed to being placed in life settlement-backed bonds. One can’t help but wonder whether the high commissions these 145 brokerage firms and their financial advisors earned served as the greater priority over looking out for customers’ best interests.
One of the broker-dealers to come under scrutiny over GWG L bond sales is Emerson Equity, which was the lead seller and underwriter of these junk bonds. Its broker Tony Barouti has now been named in 25 customer disputes in which his customers have sought $7.86M in damages for their losses. The Los Angeles-based financial advisor, who also runs Barouti Financial, is accused of negligence, Regulation Best Interest violations, breach of fiduciary duty, and other allegations. He is denying all of them.
In what appears to also be alleged affinity fraud, many of Barouti’s clients were, like him, of Iranian descent. He marketed the GWG bonds using infomercials on Persian language radio.
Barouti’s CRD notes 34 investor lawsuits in total.
Our seasoned L Bond loss lawyers are representing a number of investors, including former customers of Barouti, in their FINRA arbitration claims against Emerson Equity.
We also continue to file lawsuits against the other broker-dealers who sold GWG L bonds. Most recently, this included a FINRA lawsuit against Westpark Capital on behalf of an elderly South Dakota couple. The retirees contend that ex-broker Alfred Vanderlaan allegedly failed to apprise them of the risks involved, made misrepresentations, unsuitably recommended a financial product that was too high-risk given their moderate risk tolerance level and desire to preserve capital, and was negligent in other ways. The claimants are seeking up to $500K in damages.
Vanderlaan, who is no longer a registered representative, has 12 customer disputes listed on his CRD. Several of them are still pending.
Why Should You File A Broker Fraud Lawsuit Over Your GWG L Bond Losses?
Brokerage firms should have known that GWG had been in financial trouble and had been under regulatory scrutiny for some time. The Dallas company eventually filed for bankruptcy protection last year after defaulting on $13.6M it owed to L Bond investors. With all of this going on, not to mention how investors’ funds were being used toward Beneficient without their consent, broker-dealers should have done more to protect their customers and/or, at the very least. apprise them of these developments. Instead, thousands of investors, many of them retail investors and retirees, were blindsided by their losses.
The Importance of Working With Skilled Broker-Dealer Negligence Attorneys
Pursuing damages from a brokerage firm is always challenging, which is why you want to work with a knowledgeable investment loss recovery law firm. Many investors mistakenly believe that bankruptcy proceedings or class litigation is the answer to getting their money back. In truth, the chances of full recovery from these legal avenues is unlikely. Filing your own FINRA arbitration claim, however, can maximize your chances for compensation related to broker negligence or misconduct.
Our trusted GWG L Bond lawyers have represented thousands of investors in over 1000 matters in arbitration, mediation, and litigation. Our efforts have resulted in more than 90% of our clients receiving full or partial financial recovery for their investment losses from brokerage firms and investment advisers.
How To Contact Us:
Call (800) 259-9010 today to request your free, initial case assessment so that we can help you explore your legal options related to your GWG L Bond losses.