Flower Mounds-based Centaurus Financial advisor William Charles Burks, also known as Bill Burks II, has been named in several customer disputes. Many are associated with risky investments such as GWG L Bonds. Financial advisors are required to disclose all risks to investors and may be held responsible if they fail to do so.
Several cases for recovery of investment losses through the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) arbitration route are being pursued by the experienced Texas broker misconduct lawyers of Haselkorn & Thibaut. These claims are being pursued against Centaurus on behalf of former as well as existing customers and many of them are related to the GWG L Bonds or other investment products.
If you have concerns about your dealings with Centaurus and/or Burks, you are welcome to speak to one of our skilled attorneys to evaluate your case and understand your options. We recommend the support of an experienced investment lawyer to recover investment losses. Investors can reach our broker negligence and investment attorneys at 1-800-856-3352 for a free consultation.
As a broker-dealer, it was incumbent upon Centaurus Financial that its brokers, such as Bill Burks, be properly supervised. Failure to do so can invite charges of broker misconduct or negligence, and expose the firm to liability for an investor’s losses.
Over 140 regional brokers were authorized by Emerson Equity to sell the risky and illiquid GWG L Bonds to customers, one of them being Centaurus. GWG Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2022. At the time it had sold $1.6 billion of these bonds and owed $13.6M in payments and interest to investors.
Investors Should Be Wary Of GWG L Bonds
The L Bonds sold by GWGH are secured debt securities. While the L Bonds have potential higher yields, they may also come with a higher level of risk.
GWG Holdings, Inc. has missed several deadlines for its obligations to its L Bond holders. In March 2019, the company missed two deadlines which led to an official default. GWG Holdings confirmed to investors in an April 2021 letter that it would not make monthly interest or dividend payments to L Bond holders. The company is currently evaluating restructuring alternatives. The redemption process could take three to four weeks.
Furthermore, GWG revealed that several of its Board members would resign in the second quarter of 2021. This delay in filing the annual report with the SEC is yet another reason investors should be wary of investing in these securities.
Unlike other securities, GWG L bonds are illiquid investments. Investors cannot sell their investments on the secondary market and must wait until the bonds reach their maturity dates before redeeming their principal. This is inconvenient for investors who want liquidity in their investments but don’t want to take a default risk. Despite this, investors can opt to redeem their investment in the event of insolvency, disability, or death. Otherwise, they would have to pay a 6% penalty.
Record of Bill Burks
Before he joined Centaurus, from 1997 to 2000 Burks was a broker with PFS Investments.
There are twelve customer disputes recorded on his BrokerCheck profile. A summary of a few of them is produced here as a sample:
Allegation: Misrepresentation, unsuitability, and breach of fiduciary duty
Allegation: Recommendation of risky, unsuitable investments, from 2016 through 2020
Allegation: Misrepresentation on behalf of investments that did not deliver expected results.
Settlement: Approx. $50K
Allegation: Concentration in investments that were unsuitable investments
Allegation: Unsuitable recommendation of illiquid securities and breach of fiduciary duty