CFTC orders Goldline, A-Mark Precious Metals to pay over $1 million for fraud
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an order filing and simultaneously settling charges against Goldline, Inc. and A-Mark Precious Metals, Inc.
The companies were charged for fraud in connection with off-exchange retail commodity transactions; failing to register as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM); and engaging in illegal off-exchange retail commodity transactions.
The order requires Goldline and A-Mark to disgorge $627,801.78; pay, jointly and severally, a $450,000 civil monetary penalty; and to cease and desist from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as charged.
The order finds that from approximately April 2018 to approximately June 2021, Goldline solicited and accepted customers’ orders for leveraged, margined, or financed precious metals transactions. Retail customers entered into these transactions, although they were not conducted on a designated contract market or derivatives transaction execution facility.
The order further finds that in offering the illegal transactions, Goldline engaged in sales solicitation fraud. Goldline misrepresented the percentage by which its bid price (i.e., the amount at which Goldline would purchase metals from its customers) would have to increase before the customers could break-even if they chose to sell their metal back to Goldline. Goldline then misrepresented that it, rather than a third-party retail precious metals dealer, would offer to buy back metals that the customers previously purchased from Goldline.
This misrepresentation contradicted what Goldline told its customers in solicitation materials and customer account agreements. Goldline’s management knew about these misrepresentations to customers and did not correct them.
As its principal, A-Mark is liable for Goldline’s violative conduct.