Precious metal marketers settle with FTC

ID-100128578Ever since the economic troubles of 2008 — or anytime we have a downturn for that matter — we get bombarded with messages telling us to put our money into precious metals. Unfortunately, some of the folks telling us that are just out to make a buck and take advantage of people.

The Federal Trade Commission just got a settlement from some Florida-based telemarketers who allegedly ran a fraudulent investment scheme to get almost $5 million from elderly consumers.

The FTC charged Sterling Precious Metals LLC, Matthew Meyer and Francis Ryan Zofay for promising consumers they could make profits by investing in precious metals with little risk, without telling them they would likely have to pay more money later or lose their investment.

Under the FTC settlement agreement, the marketers are banned from selling precious metals. They are also forbidden from misrepresenting products and services, selling or otherwise benefiting from personal information, failing to properly dispose of customer information, and failing to provide consumer information to the FTC.  They are also required to record all of their telemarketing calls for seven years.

Meyer and Zofay received a judgment of more than $4.7 million, which will be partially suspended based on ability to pay and surrender of Meyer’s leased cars — a 2013 Bentley Continental and a 2012 Land Rover. If they are found to have misrepresented their financial condition, full judgment will become due immediately.

The Commission will also seek to dismiss Kerry Marshall as a defendant.