Attorney General James Urges Victims of Precious Metals Scheme to File A Claim Before Deadline

Seniors Deceived Into Investing Millions in Metals.com and Related Companies

Defrauded Investors Have Through April 30 to File Claim

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today urged victims of fraud perpetrated by Metals.com and related entities to file a claim with a court appointed receiver and begin the process of recovering their defrauded funds. Last September, Attorney General James, along with 29 additional states and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), filed a lawsuit against Metals.com for defrauding seniors across New York and the rest of the nation — soliciting more than $185 million by peddling false claims and by charging exorbitant fees for overpriced precious metals. Earlier this month, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas entered an injunction and a restraining order, freezing the assets of the defendants and appointing a receiver to marshal the defendants’ remaining assets and issue relief to defrauded clients.

“These investors may have been sold on the comfort of investing in precious metals, but there’s no question that the defendants tarnished their clients’ dreams,” said Attorney General James. “Hundreds of seniors were promised safe investments, but, instead, saw immediate and substantial losses to their retirement savings. I encourage all New Yorkers who were defrauded by Metals.com to immediately come forward and file a claim so we can return as much money as possible to victims. Our bipartisan coalition will continue to fight to hold bad actors accountable and is standing by to help investors reclaim their defrauded funds.”

The lawsuit charges the Beverly Hills, California-based firm and its sales representatives with targeting elderly investors through traditional and social media and defrauding them into transferring funds from their traditional individual retirement accounts (IRA) into self-directed IRAs by misrepresenting that metals purchased from the defendants were a safe and conservative investment. In reality, however, the defendants charged undisclosed and excessive fees on precious metals sold to investors that resulted in instant and substantial losses, with many investors losing the majority of their investment funds immediately upon consummating the transaction. Often, the market value of the precious metals sold to investors was substantially lower than the value of the securities and other retirement savings investors had liquidated to fund their purchase of precious metals. The complaint charges the defendants with violating the Commodity Exchange Act and various state securities laws.

Following the court order earlier this month, the receiver began administering the claims process. As part of the process, the receiver will be sending correspondence, instructions, and a claim form to defrauded clients. Defrauded clients must complete and return their claims forms to the receiver to participate in the claims process and request a return of the remaining, available money. The deadline to return the claim form is April 30, 2021.

Defrauded clients should direct questions about the claims process to the receiver by emailing kelly.crawford@solidcounsel.com or by calling 214-706-4213. The receiver also maintains a website that provides information about the claims process for defrauded clients.

The receiver cautions that orders requiring repayment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of money lost because the defendants may not have sufficient funds or assets. 

Joining Attorney General James and the CFTC in filing September’s lawsuit were the securities regulators and the attorneys general from various states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.