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The Neverending Story of Fraudulent Precious Metals Scams

For quite sometime, we have attempted to bring to the attention of the investing public, especially seniors, the pitfalls that an investor is exposed to when investing in precious metals of all kinds.  The primary area of abuse that retail investors is exposed relates to the sale and purchase of gold and silver bullion and coins.  This post relates to a case involving bullion.  On September 25, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and 30 state regulators that are members of the North American Securities Administrators Association filed a joint civil enforcement action against two precious metals dealers and their companies for perpetrating an alleged $185 million fraudulent scheme.

The complaint charges TMTE, Inc., d/b/a Metals.com, Chase Metals, LLC., Chase Metals, Inc. (collectively Metals.com) Barrick Capital, Inc. and its principals, Lucas Asher a/k/a Lucas Thomas Erb a/k/a Luke Asher and Simon Batashvilli with an ongoing nationwide fraud.  According to the complaint, from at least September 1, 2017 to the date of the filing of the action, the defendants fraudulently solicited and received over $185 million in customer funds, including more than $140 million in retirement savings, from at least 1,600 persons throughout the United States for the purpose of purchasing precious metals bullion.

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