GWG Holdings, Alternative Investments Investigation
The White Law Group continues to investigate GWG Holdings Inc. and the liability that brokerage firms may have for unsuitably recommending high risk GWG offerings to investors.
GWG Holdings finances its portfolio of life insurance assets through the sale of alternative investment products, according to its website. Although these products are touted as offering potentially higher yields than other investment assets that are correlated with the traditional stock and bond markets, they may come at a much greater risk to investors.
Update – January 20, 2022 – GWG Fails to Make Interest Payments for L Bonds
According to new filings with the SEC on January 18, due to the decreased sales of its L Bonds, GWG did not make the January 15, 2022 interest payment of approximately $10.35 million and principal payments of approximately $3.25 million with respect to its L Bonds. If the company fails to make the payments in the next 30 days it will result in default, according to the filing.
The company also noted that it believes that the filing of its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, will likely be late as the independent registered public accounting firm it was working with declined to stand for reappointment. This would also likely result in a voluntary suspension of the sale of L Bonds.
GWG Fails Suspends L Bond offering after Failing to File Financial Reports
As we told you last Septemenber, 2021, GWG has not filed its annual report for the year ending December 31, 2020, and has not filed its form 10-Q for the quarter ending March 31, 2021. GWG reported that it is working to complete restatements regarding the financial statements in its 2019 annual report and its quarterly reports for the first three quarters of 2020. GWG notes that it “is unable at this point to estimate when those restatements will be complete.”
After failing to timely file its 2020 annual report, GWG suspended its offering of L Bonds. Further, several members of the Board of Directors reportedly resigned in the second quarter of 2021.
GWG Holdings, Inc. Reports Results For Q1 2020
According to filings with the SEC in April 2019, GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: GWGH) and The Beneficient Company Group, L.P. (BEN) reportedly announced an agreement between BEN and Jon Sabes, Chairman and CEO of GWG, and Steven Sabes, a director of GWG, in which GWG and BEN will “significantly expand their strategic partnership.”
According to a press release on May 15, 2020, the company noted that despite the uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the company continues to raise capital, pay and receive interest income and dividends, receive insurance policy benefits, and otherwise meet its ongoing operating obligations.
On May 15, 2020, BEN and its lender reportedly signed a term sheet to amend its senior credit and subordinated credit agreements, according to SEC filings. Among other changes, the amendment would extend the maturity date of both loans to April 10, 2021, and provides for them to be transferred to GWGH or a subsidiary upon issuance of Ben’s trust company charters by the Texas Department of Banking. The amendments set forth in the term sheet are subject to, among other things, the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements governing the amendments and the satisfaction of closing conditions.
On March 6, 2020, BEN reportedly submitted revised trust charter applications to the Texas Department of Banking which the Department is actively reviewing and considering. In the interim, Ben has closed a limited number of transactions to date, but intends to significantly expand its operations if and when the trust charters are issued.
According to first quarter 2020 “Financial and Operating Highlights,” the company reported first quarter 2020 net loss of $49.4 million, compared to a net loss of $18.9 million in the first quarter of 2019.
GWGH’s investment in Ben was accounted for as an equity method investment prior to the change-of-control on December 31, 2019, and the first quarter of 2020 includes the consolidated results of Ben for the first time, according to the filings.
The company further noted that it has continued its shift in focus away from new life insurance policy acquisitions and towards its investment in Ben, while managing its existing life insurance policy portfolio. As part of that strategic shift, the Company has ended its Life Care Exchange program for purchasing policies.
GWG L Bonds
On March 30, 2020, the Company filed a registration statement to offer up to $2.0 billion in principal amount of L Bonds on a continuous basis until 2023, according to the first quarter results. These bonds contain terms and features that are substantially consistent with previous L Bond offerings.
According to the GWG L Bond prospectus, “An investment in the L Bonds involves significant risks, including the risk of losing your entire investment, and may be considered speculative. Importantly, we maintain a senior borrowing arrangement that subordinates the right to payment on, and shared collateral securing, the L Bonds to our senior secured lender.”
An L bond is an alternative investment vehicle that attempts to provide a high yield for a lender in exchange for bearing the risk that an insurance policy premium or benefits may not be paid. An L bond is an unrated life insurance bond that is used to finance the purchase and premium payments of life insurance settlement contracts purchased in the secondary market, according to Investopedia.
GWG Renewable Secured Debentures
GWG Holdings began offering up to $250,000,000 in Renewable Secured Debentures in 2012, according to SEC filings. It states clearly in the prospectus, investing in GWG Holdings debentures may be considered speculative and involves a high degree of risk, including the risk of losing your entire investment.
Accordingly, an investment in GWG Holdings debentures is not suitable for investors that require liquidity in advance of their debenture’s maturity date.
The prospectus also states that Broker’s that choose to sell high-risk debentures are required to perform adequate due diligence to determine if such investment is suitable for each individual client. Investment recommendations should be in line with the client’s age, investment experience, net worth, risk tolerance, investment objectives, and income.
When a broker overlooks suitability requirements or misleads a client, not only are they potentially liable for investment loss, the brokerage firm that employs such brokers may also be on the hook for losses.
Recovery of Investment Losses
If you invested in debentures or bonds issued by GWG Holdings Inc. and would like to discuss your litigation options with securities attorneys, please call The White Law Group at 888-637-5510 for a free consultation.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Seattle, Washington.
For more information on The White Law Group, visit https://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.