This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
A Florida precious metals telemarketing firm was shut down by a judge at the request of the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC announced on its website May 17.
American Precious Metals is alleged to have “conned senior citizens into buying precious metals on credit without clearly disclosing significant costs and risks.”
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The firm had taken in $37 million from these individuals, charged 40 percent commissions and deposited the money with another firm that recorded the investments but did not purchase or handle metals.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission alleged in a separate case before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida that the firm “violated federal law by using the mails and other means of interstate commerce as part of a scheme to defraud consumers in the sale of precious metals contracts.”
The FTC says individuals were told “they could earn large profits quickly.” They often were not told that they were taking out a loan to cover up to 80 percent of the purchase price.