The CFTC has filed fraud charges against Florida-based American Precious Metals LLC and the company’s principles, Sammy J. Goldman and Harry Robert Tanner. A federal judge has already shut down the company, placed it in receivership, and granted a restraining order filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The CFTC complaint alleges that American Precious Metals has scammed millions since 2007 by claiming to possess $23 million worth of precious metals, when in fact it owned none. Customers made minimum down payments of $5,000, 40% of which stayed with American Precious Metals. The rest was sent to a third party that never purchased any precious metals. The whole time, customers were lead to believe that the company was helping to finance their investment, and was storing the metals in a secure depository.
American Precious Metals was never registered with the CFTC. The Commission is seeking disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, and trading and registration bans. This is the third precious metals-related scam the CFTC has filed charges against in the last seven weeks.