Advisor Jonathan Ellefson (Ellefson), currently employed by brokerage firm Intervest International Equities Corporation (Intervest) has been subject to at least four disclosures and customer complaints. According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concern alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like business development companies (BDCs), non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and private placements. In Ellefson’s case at least one of the complaints occurred from the sale of GWG Holdings L-Bonds. GWG went into bankruptcy. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP represented nearly 100 investors who suffered losses in GWG.
GWG’s business focused on the acquisition of life insurance policies in the secondary market. GWG was offered to investors even though the company had no significant operating history and no profits. Until 2018, GWG’s sole business was to borrow money to buy life insurance policies in the secondary market at prices that are less than the face value of the insurance benefits payable upon the death of the insureds. GWG would then hold the policies until maturity and collect the face value upon the insured’s death.
The contours of the GWG bonds are as follows: