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LaTour Asset Management: L Bond Complaints Against Springfield Firm

Recent investor complaints allege that Springfield, Missouri-based broker-dealer firm LaTour Asset Management recommended and sold unsuitable investments, including GWG L bonds. The firm and its founder Joe LaTour have specifically received complaints seeking damages as high as $500,000. LaTour Asset Management and LaTour Advisory Services offer securities through Center Street Securities.

What Is LaTour Asset Management?

According to the firm’s website, LaTour Asset Management is based in southwest Missouri, with offices in Springfield and Ava. Its founder and president, Joe Latour, holds 13 years of securities industry experience, per his FINRA-maintained BrokerCheck report. The LaTour Asset Management team also includes Darla LaTour, Josh LaTour, and Jim Margraf. The firm’s services include investment planning, retirement planning, income planning, custom annuity policy review, and social security maximization.

Has LaTour Asset Management Received Customer Complaints?

FINRA records show two investor complaints against Joe LaTour, in his capacity as a broker registered with Center Street Securities—the firm through which LaTour Asset Management offers investment products. Filed in 2022, both complaints allege that he recommended unsuitable investments; one specifies that the unsuitable products in question were allegedly illiquid GWG L bonds. The complaints allege damages between $100,000 and $500,000.

What Are GWG L Bonds?

GWG L bonds are bonds issued by GWG Holdings, formerly an alternative asset management firm based in Dallas, Texas. As an April 2022 report by the Wall Street Journal explained, GWG L  bonds “pooled money from bond investors to purchase life-insurance policies on the secondary market.” They made payments via the life insurance payouts received when policyholders died. GWG Holdings company raised a sum of roughly $1.6 billion, largely from individual investors, before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2022. 

Why Did the SEC Investigate GWG Holdings?

According to Insurance Business America, the company disclosed in its bankruptcy filings that the Securities and Exchange Commission had been investigating “certain account matters” relating to its L bonds since 2020. In June 2022, the SEC filed charges against broker-dealer Western International Securities and five of its brokers, alleging that they violated its Best Interest Obligation when recommending and selling GWG L bonds to retail investors. More information on GWG L bonds is available here. 

Were GWG L Bonds a Risky Investment?

Though some broker-dealer firms may have marketed GWG L bonds as low-risk investments, this was not the case. GWG’s own prospectus for its L bond products states the following: “Investing in our L Bonds may be considered speculative and involves a high degree of risk, including the risk of losing your entire investment.” The prospectus states further that L bonds are not suitable for investors who “require liquidity in advance of their L Bond’s maturity date.” In fact, it states, they are “only suitable for persons with substantial financial resources and with no need for liquidity in this investment.

Will I Get My Money Back During GWG’s Bankruptcy Proceedings?

GWG L bond investors will not necessarily get their money back as a result of GWG Holdings’ bankruptcy process. As the company’s L bond prospectus explains, it maintained a senior borrowing arrangement that subordinated the right to payment to its senior secured lender. In other words, GWG will pay back other creditors before L bond investors, who may not recover any money at all. 

Are There Other Ways to Recover Money?

GWG L bond investors can file arbitration claims against the broker-dealer firms that sold them the investments. Under securities industry rules and standards, brokers who recommend unsuitable investments, and/or who provide misleading information regarding the investments they recommend, may be liable for damages in the event that those investments suffered losses. If your broker-dealer firm did not fully disclose the risks associated with GWG L bonds—for instance, the risk that investors might lose their entire principal, or that the L bonds were illiquid and speculative investments—you may be able to file a claim to recover your principal, interest, and any legal fees involved in the arbitration process. 

Call Carlson Law for a Free Consultation

If your financial advisor at LaTour Asset Management recommended an unsuitable investment in GWG L bonds or other products, you may have grounds to file a FINRA arbitration claim and pursue the recovery of damages. Carlson Law represents investors involved in claims against financial advisors and investment firms throughout the United States. If you or a loved one have suffered losses investing with LaTour Asset Management, please call us at 888-976-6111 or complete our contact form for a free and confidential consultation.

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