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Family That Cheats Together…Pays Nearly $3m For Precious Metals Fraud


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Family That Cheats Together…Pays Nearly $3m For Precious Metals Fraud - CFTC

Tuesday February 09, 2016 12:51
(Kitco News) - After nearly nine months in trial, the Federal Court has now ordered two Florida residents to pay nearly $3 million to settle charges by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for fraudulent activity in the precious metals space.

Cindy and husband Paul Vandivier, founders of Mintline Inc., were charged back in May for fraudulently soliciting customers and misappropriating funds in connection with “illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals from July 2011 to at least April 2013,” the CFTC said.

In other words, instead of providing customers with metals in exchange for money, the owners pocketed the funds. Based on the press release, the couple stole almost $1 million dollars from their customers and then disappeared.

“Sometime between January and April 2013, the Defendants ceased operations, leaving customers without their metals or a return of their funds, according to the Complaint,” the CFTC said.

On Tuesday, the Federal Court required that the Vandiviers “each pay a $1 million civil monetary penalty and jointly to pay $986,763 in restitution to defrauded customers to settle CFTC charges of fraudulently soliciting customers and misappropriating customer funds in connection with illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals,” said a CFTC press release Tuesday.

Mintline – the company in question – was a front for the Vandiviers to claim that they sold and stored precious metals, as well as made loans on behalf of U.S. retail customers to finance the purchase of the metals. However, according to CFTC complaints, this wasn’t the case.

“The Order finds, however, that contrary to what customers were led to believe, the Vandiviers did not purchase, sell, transfer ownership of, deliver, or arrange for storage of any physical metals in connection with the financed metals transactions,” the press release said.

“Instead, according to the Order, they misappropriated most, if not all, of customers’ funds to pay Mintline’s operating expenses and to pay for personal expenses, including animal, automobile, communication, employee, medical, and shopping expenses.”

By Sarah Benali of Kitco News; sbenali@kitco.com
Follow me on Twitter @SdBenali

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.



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Jan 7, 2011
Buy physical and hold it in your hands and you won't get ripped off like that. You might get robbed or killed, but that's a different crime.