today, in santa monica, a los angeles county judge signed an injunction against goldline, inc - the sponsor of such "luminaries" like glen beck, sean hannity, lars larsen, monica crowley and a whole bunch of other nutcases.
it seems that goldline has been duping seniors by claiming that the u.s. government is going to recall all the gold bullion - but IF the same seniors buy overpriced "collectible" coins from goldline, the mean ol' guv'mint can't take those away from their gnarled fingers!
the judge says that goldline has to refund $4.5 million to the folks who want their money back!
come past the gold (non-confiscated) squiggle for more on this delicious story!
when i've heard the goldline pitches, i have a hard time not laughing hysterically since only someone who is seriously mislead or deluded buys gold when it is this artificially high in price.
when i started making jewelry about 13 years ago, the price per troy oz was under $250. the speculators have now pushed gold over $1,770 (as per the kitco spot market priceright now). (and you wonder why so many jewelers are going out of business?)
added to this scam are the rantings of madmen like beck who make a small fortune by convincing the gullible that all gold is going to be confiscated (hold on to your fillings! bury the gold/silver/platinum in the back yard so the government can't come and take it!).
well, it seems that santa monica city attorney marsha moutrie decided to call out goldline. she filed a 19 criminal count suit in november, 2011 against the santa monica based company, goldline international, inc, in superior court for targeting seniors with "false and misleading sales techniques" to persuade them to buy marked-up gold coins. and, today, a county judge issued and injunction against the
here's part of the complaint from the courthouse news service wed., feb. 22, 2012.
the judge ordered goldline to refund $4.5 million and put another $800k into a special fund to cover future refunds in exchange for dropping the criminal charges. (goldline wanted to substitute the gold coins they sold for more gold merchandise... duh! that went over like a gold-plated lead coin!)
"Since in or about February 2008, Goldline has trained its salespeople to use, and they have used, false and misleading statements and omissions to intentionally conceal Goldline's more than 50 percent price markup over its buyback price for the marked-up coins.
"Since in or about February 2008, Goldline has offered gold bullion for sale, and collected payments from consumers while promising them gold bullion products, without intending to give them the promised bullion products. Once this money was received, Goldline has persuaded the consumers to instead purchase the marked-up coins using false and misleading tactics including those described above."
Unlike gold bullion, pricing of gold coins can be problematic because they come in various weights and sizes, according to the complaint. That frees Goldline to inflate the value of the coins without detection, the state claims.
the markup on these "coins" was 50%. sadly, only 43 goldline customers were identified as being unhappy. wow.
the courthouse news service also mentions beck's "pitch" for the company here...
The criminal complaint created a stir when it was filed. ABC News reported that Goldline had "used endorsements from Glenn Beck and other conservative icons to sell hundreds of millions of dollars in gold products to consumers."and who else did the paranoid right wing pitch of "the big ol' bad guv'mint is gonna take your gold!"? according to the article,
Beck has pitched for Goldline on his radio show, which has been a sponsor of the show. Beck echoed the company's claims by citing in Goldline promos that under FDR's 1933 executive order the federal government would take all gold, except antique coins.
Beck is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Other prominent conservative radio hosts, including Sean Hannity, Lars Larson, Mark Levin and Monica Crowley also promote Goldline on the company website, goldline.com.but, back in july, 2010, beck was squealing loudly, blasting abc news for covering the original charges.
Beck did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
"They are going to nudge the gold industry out of business," Beck said during his syndicated radio program Wednesday morning. "They are going to regulate it and regulate it and regulate it, until you won't be able to buy gold anymore. This is what I'm telling you -- they can't have people buying gold. They need to own all the gold. They're going to nudge us. Mark my words."
"ABC has done this story on Goldline and me, and there's nothing new there," Beck said. "Absolutely nothing new there."
gee, wonder why he isn't available for comment today... hmmmmmmmm
this is TOO funny!
more articles on this from the l.a. times
Goldline agreed to an injunction that requires the company to "change its unfair sales practices" and to disclose price markups in recorded telephone conversations with customers, said Adam Radinsky, head of the Santa Monica city attorney's consumer protection unit.(first clue: don't buy gold from telemarkets who call you at home!)
and, of course, goldline is not happy about being forced to "change their business model...
Radinsky [who heads the consumer protection division for the Santa Monica City Attorney] said the settlement of the civil lawsuit "has tremendous benefits for consumers." The agreement calls for a third party to monitor the injunction and make sure the company is disclosing the markups, through undercover buys, recorded telephone calls and meetings with employees.and from abc news...
"The company is being forced to change its entire business model from one based on misrepresentations to one providing accurate information, including price markups for each transaction," Radinsky said. "There are extreme benefits to consumers from the injunction in the civil case."
In late 2011, the Santa Monica City Attorney's office filed a criminal complaint alleging that Goldline was running "a bait and switch operation," according to a statement released by the City Attorney's consumer protection unit. The City Attorney alleged that Goldline misled customers by falsely telling them the government could confiscate gold bullion, but not the costlier coins. And the city alleged that Goldline customers were paying more than 55 percent over the actual value of the coins, mark-ups that were concealed by Goldline's salespeople.and you thought car salespersons were bad... (disclaimer: i used to SELL cars - and all my customers were very happy - because i showed them the REAL numbers for their purchase BEFORE they bought their cars!)
watch the videos from abc - you'll get a kick out of them! (as an added benefit, you get to watch anthony weiner take goldline to task in one of the abc videos from 2010.)
sadly, i don't think this will change the minds (what little there is to them) that follow beck, hannity and more.