Articles Posted in Precious Metals

The price of gold has risen steadily in the past few months. In times of financial turmoil, precious metals such as gold make appealing options to investors who seek a reliable return. However, just as the price of gold has climbed, so has the rate of scams involving it.

Whether you are considering purchasing gold or you already own a significant amount, you must remain vigilant to financial scams. Here, we will examine some of the most common gold-related scams currently making the rounds.

Scams to watch out for this year

Steve Chen and USFIA Inc. – South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach and Boynton Beach, Securities and Investment Fraud Litigation and Arbitration Attorney

SEC Halts $32 Million Scheme That Promised Riches From Amber Mining

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced it has filed fraud charges and obtained asset freezes against the operator of a worldwide pyramid scheme that falsely promised investors would profit from a venture purportedly backed by the company’s massive amber holdings.

South Florida, including Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Precious Metals and Securities Fraud and Misrepresentation Attorney:

The below script gives the reader a flavor of what might be said in a typical unsolicited call from a precious metals telemarketer. However, please keep in mind that this is a generic example. Many varaiations of this exist as do materials which have been prepared to assist the telemarkerter in over comming any objection or negitative question that you might have.


Florida Precious Metals (Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium and Copper) Fraud and Misrepresentation Federal and State Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

On December 14, 2011, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission”) issued in the Federal Register an interpretation regarding the meaning of the term “actual delivery,” as set forth in the Commodity Exchange Act.  Recently, the Commission determined to clarify its interpretation, which is reflected in the attached link.

This interpretation is important from the prospective of both sellers and buyers of precious metals using leverage.  From a sellers standpoint, failure to comply with the actual delivery provisions, discussed in the interpretation could led to adverse consequences from an enforcement action brought by the Commission or in a civil action brought by a purchaser.  CFTC Interpretive Release – Actual Delivery

CFTC Charges Florida-Based Worth Group Inc. and Its Principals, Andrew Wilshire and Eugenia Mildner, in Multi-Million Dollar Fraudulent Precious Metals Scheme

CFTC alleges that Defendants, who took in more than $73 million, defrauded customers in connection with precious metals transactions and engaged in illegal off-exchange commodity transactions

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently announced that on August 13, 2013, it filed a civil injunctive enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Worth Group Inc. (Worth), as well as its owner, Andrew Wilshire, and its sole officer and director, Eugenia Mildner, all of Jupiter, Florida. The CFTC’s Complaint charges that Defendants defrauded retail precious metals customers and engaged in illegal, off-exchange retail commodity transactions from July 16, 2011, through the present.

South Florida Securities and Precious Metals FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. John Fowler, Jeffrey Fowler, and Julianne Chalmers, Civil Action No. 8:13-cv-1747-T-17TGW

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that it filed an enforcement action on July 5, 2013 against John Fowler, a convicted felon, Jeffrey Fowler, a former Florida public school teacher, and Julianne Chalmers. The SEC charged John Fowler and Jeffrey Fowler with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC also charged John Fowler and Julianne Chalmers with registration violations.

Numismatic Coin – Florida Precious Metals and Numismatic Coin Fraud and Misrepresentation State and Federal Court Litigation Attorney:

A Numismatic Coin is a coin that is valued based on its rarity, age, the quantity originally produced, and condition.  These coins are bought and sold as individual items within the coin collecting community.  Most Numismatic Coins are legal tender coins that were produced in limited quantities to give them scarcity value.  They are historic coins which also can be rare.  The current price of gold is a minor factor when dealing with Numismatic Coins.  Premiums are traditionally far higher than those of Bullion Coins, and values fluctuate to a much wider extent.  For example a $5 gold piece may may contain $70 dollars of gold but may sell for as much as $700.  The minimum amount recovered from Numismatic Coin investments is always either its face value or its metal content.

With the above in mind, anyone considering investing in Numismatic Coins should think twice, especially if the investor is dealing with a firm located in another city or state.  In our opinion, Numismatic Coins should never be purchased with anything other than absolute risk funds.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. 3 Eagles Research & Development LLC, Harry Dean Proudfoot III, Matthew Dale Proudfoot, Laurie Anne Vrvilo and Dennis Ashley Bukantis, Civil Action No. 3:12-cv-01289-ST (D. Oregon, filed July 17, 2012)


The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that it has obtained Final Judgments against defendants Matthew Dale Proudfoot (“Matthew”) and Laurie Anne Vrvilo (“Laurie”) in district court litigation in which the SEC alleged they participated in a gold mine investment scheme. According to the SEC’s Complaint, Matthew and Laurie falsely promised investors whopping returns from a gold mining operation while investors’ money was actually spent on family cars, jewelry, vacations, and vitamin supplements.

CFTC Orders Florida Firms, Joseph Glenn Commodities LLC and JGCF LLC, and Owners Scott Newcom and Anthony Pulieri to Pay over $1 Million in Restitution and Penalties for Fraudulent Off-Exchange Transactions in Precious Metals with Retail Customers

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently issued an Order filing and settling charges against two Boca Raton, Fla., companies, Joseph Glenn Commodities LLC (Joseph Glenn) and JGCF LLC (JGCF), and their sole owners and principals, Scott Newcom and Anthony Pulieri (the Respondents) for engaging in illegal, fraudulent off-exchange financed transactions in precious metals with retail customers.

The CFTC Order, filed on March 27, 2013, requires Joseph Glenn, JGCF, Newcom, and Pulieri to pay approximately $635,000 in restitution to customers for their losses and to return approximately $330,000 remaining in customers’ accounts. The Order requires Pulieri to pay a civil monetary penalty of $100,000. The Order also permanently prohibits the Respondents from registering with the CFTC and imposes a five-year trading ban on trading for others. In addition, the Order prohibits the Respondents from violating the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged, and requires them to comply with certain undertakings, including fully and expeditiously cooperating with the CFTC.

United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Hunter Wise Commodities, LLC., et. al., Case No. 12-81311-Civ-Middlebrooks, Southern District of Florida.

As a follow up to our recent post concerning the above referenced matter, the Court on February 25, 2013 followed its Order Appointing Special Corporate Monitor of February 22, 2013, by issuing its Order on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, which granted the same as more fully referenced in the below link.

Interestingly, the Court provided a brief discussion concerning the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), with the most recent expansion of that jurisdiction being that contained in Section 742 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which granted the CFTC new authority over certain leveraged, margined, or financed commodity transactions with retail customers, including the authority to prohibit fraud in connection with such transactions in interstate commerce.  This decision is extremely important for retail customers purchasing and selling precious metals with the use of leverage.

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