Brokers

Barred broker latest to be focus in a GWG bond complaint

A broker who was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. last year and has dozens of so-called “disclosure” marks on his work history is the latest to be named in a customer complaint alleging negligence over the sale to clients of GWG L Bonds, whose parent firm declared bankruptcy in April.

Marc Korsch was booted from the retail securities industry last December after he failed to cooperate in a Finra investigation, according to his BrokerCheck report, which reveals a staggering 33 disclosure items, ranging from pending customer complaints to financial liens from the IRS.

Korsch was a broker in Sarasota, Florida, for 12 years with half-a-dozen firms, with the longest stint at Centaurus Financial Inc., a significant seller of the GWG L bonds, according to industry attorneys and executives. He was registered with Centaurus from 2014 to 2021.

Korsch isn’t named in the Finra arbitration complaint but Centaurus Financial is, according to a statement by Marc Fitapelli, an attorney with MDF Law.

“I’m not even in the business anymore,” Korsch said Tuesday morning when reached by phone. Paul King, general counsel at Centaurus Financial, didn’t return a call to comment.

GWG Holdings Inc. sold $1.6 billion in bonds backed by life settlements through a network of about 140 independent broker-dealers.

“The recent complaint filed against Centaurus Financial concerns Marc Korsch’s recommendation of GWG L Bonds,” according to the statement by Fitapelli. “The Finra complaint against Centaurus alleges that the broker-dealer was negligent by approving GWG L Bonds for sale to its customers,” who were conservative investors and mostly elderly, according to the attorney.

GWG L Bonds were also marketed as a safe investment that was guaranteed. and as a conservative investment with a guaranteed monthly payment, according to the attorney’s statement.

“The clients met [Korsch] through a free retirement seminar he was doing at a local university,” Fitapelli said in an interview Tuesday.

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