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Federal Trade Commission settles with American Precious Metals, LLC for $24.3 million.

February 5th, 2013 | Posted by in FINRA Mediation

In May, the Federal Trade Commission brought an action against American Precious Metals and its owners, Harry Tanner and Andrea Tanner, for allegedly deceiving investors into purchasing precious metals on credit without notifying the investors that the precious metal investments were financed. The Federal Trade Commission’s complaint alleged that the defendants promised the investors large returns on their precious metal investments but failed to inform them about the risks, fees, and commission charges associated with the investments. The lawsuit also alleged that the defendants never informed the investors that if the value of their investments dropped below a certain amount, the investors would receive an “equity call” requiring them to either invest more money or liquidate their investments.

Over the last few years, the number of precious metal frauds has increased. In Silver Law Group’s experience representing investors in precious metal transactions similar to those describe above, these precious metal companies are often perpetrating scams, and investors never see the profits promised. Instead, such investments usually result in a loss of all or a significant part of the investors’ investments. The companies never actually purchase the precious metals; and even if some are purchased, the investments are so highly leveraged that they are vulnerable to equity calls even with a modest decrease in metal prices, resulting in a complete loss to the investors. Moreover, because consumers’ equity levels are constantly eroded by interest charged on their leveraged balances, consumers can be subject to equity calls even when precious metal prices remain constant. The fees, commissions, and interest charges assessed to investors negatively affect their ability to profit or even break even on precious metals investments.

If you invested with a precious metals company and have any questions concerning your investment, please contact Silver Law Group toll free at (800) 975-4345 or by e-mail at for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.

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