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Glenn Beck-Approved Goldline Charged With Fraud And Theft

Glenn Beck-Approved Goldline Charged With Fraud And Theft


Written by Alex Seitz-Wald, ThinkProgress

Goldline International, the precious metal retailer that has capitalized on conservatives’ anxiety about the economy by forging synergistic relationships with right wing TV and radio hosts, is facing a new series of legal challenges after authorities filed criminal charges against the company and its executives yesterday. Several major conservative talkers — including two former GOP presidential candidates — have endorsed and recommended Goldine, which critics have long contended is little more than a scam.

After more than a year of investigating, the city attorney in Santa Monica, California, where the company is based, has filed 19 criminal charges of fraud and theft against the company, in addition to charges against top executives and salesmen, ABC News reports:

The complaint alleges that Goldline “runs a bait and switch operation in which customers, seeking to invest in gold bullion, are switched to highly overpriced coins by using false and misleading claims,” according to a statement released by the consumer affairs division of the Santa Monica City Attorney’s office.

The company has been charged in the court filing with misdemeanors that include theft by false pretenses, false advertising, and conspiracy, the City Attorney’s office said. In addition to the charges against the company, the complaint accuses former CEO Mark Albarian, executives Robert Fazio and Luis Beeli, and salespeople Charles Boratgis and Stephanie Howard of defrauding customers. Current CEO Scott Carter is accused of making false or misleading statements.

Each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and maximum fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 per offense.

While former Fox News conspiracy-theorist Glenn Beck is most closely associated with Goldline, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Mark Levin, former GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson, and several Fox News hosts, among others, have all endorsed the company.

Indeed, conservative talk radio is central to the company’s success, as Goldline employs a business model based not on mere advertising, but full integration with the content of conservative talk show hosts’ messages. The company’s website prominently features these endorsers, suggesting the talkers’ backing gives Goldline “credibility.” The company has said it will vigorously contest the charges.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Photo from Bullion Vault via flickr

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10:46AM PST on Dec 7, 2011

Is the Better Business Bureau a Co-Conspirator in Alleged Goldline Fraud?

We rely on Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings to make decisions on which corporations patronize. We have faith that the details we receive is trustworthy and accurate, designed for the benefit of the consumer. What a shock, then, it is to discover that the BBB enables complaints to become erased and rankings to become elevated, if businesses are willing to spend the proper cost.

Goldline International, a North American precious metals dealer, was a solid choice for buyers of gold and silver bullion, coins, and investments - or so it seemed when examining facts supplied by the BBB. With an “A” rating, shoppers trusted that Goldline supplied solid value for high-quality goods. It wasn’t until the enterprise was accused of a lengthy list of violations by the Santa Monica City Attorney that the BBB lastly downgraded Goldline to its lowest score of “F”, as well as the public found that Goldline has extra than 100 complaints on record.

Goldline has been alleged to have involvement in criminal activity, which includes bait and switch schemes, grand theft by false pretense, false advertising, elder abuse, and conspiracy to commit all of the above. Some of the alleged fraudulent ploys swindled buyers by pulling them in with gold bullion, then encouraging them to reinvest their income in uncommon coins, charging excessive commission. The industry regular for coin commission is

6:32PM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

There you go, attacking the 1%ers again.

5:54PM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

Hey Jeffrey W has your girlfriend beaten you up lately ? that would account for your drival

2:16PM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

The intrinsic value of gold is that it is a very efficient electrical conductor. As far as jewelry it is a waste because it boosts peoples' vanities.

2:39AM PDT on Nov 4, 2011


12:33AM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

I'll see it on CNN....NOT, bye

11:04PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

Yup, not a bit surprised at the IDIOTS - who think they are superior to the common man - who endorsed this!


9:00PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

Maybe it's just me but I don 't understand why people invest in gold. It has no purpose other than looking pretty. Eventually gold will begin to lose value just like overpriced real estate did

5:40PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

May you sit in prison - contemplating where your "God" forsook you...

5:24PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

Why wasn't Beck charged as a Salesperson for the company??

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