Gold and fraud have a long and colourful history together. This is one of the reasons I find it so ironic today that so many people have been convinced that gold is the only “true currency–can’t be manipulated…” (My God if only they would read the centuries of sordid history in “The Power of Gold” by Peter Bernstein).
A recent complaint alleges 19 criminal counts against gold dealer/broker Goldline, the same company which sponsors Glen Beck’s talk show. Here are the details from the Santa Monica Daily Press yesterday:
“Attorneys with City Hall’s Consumer Protection Unit said Tuesday they have filed criminal charges against Santa Monica-based Goldline International for allegedly using conservative spokespeople such as Fox News’ Glenn Beck in a “bait-and-switch” operation to sell overpriced gold coins.
The 19-count criminal complaint was filed Tuesday against Goldline, one of the nation’s largest precious metal dealers, and several key executives and salespeople.
The charges, all of which are misdemeanors and carry a maximum penalty each of one year in jail and fines of between $1,000 and $10,000, include grand theft by false pretense, false advertising, conspiracy and elder abuse involving transactions that took place over the last three years.
…In launching the probe, investigators opened a new front in a long-running dispute over the way Goldline has turned the sale of gold into a massive retail operation that capitalizes on popular conservative figures like Beck who appeal to an audience that is naturally skeptical of the government and are uneasy about inflation and the state of American currency.”
The bottom line: promoting and profiting off wide-spread fear in the population has become a successful business model for a lot of gold firms in the last few years. When the gold bubble finally bursts once more maybe we can get people focused on real life solutions like getting risk sellers out of banking and financial advice, cleaning up our environment and pro-active diet and exercise habits. Too bad we couldn’t get Glen Beck selling for those concepts, apparently his followers would do what he suggests.