Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:58 PM
DonViejo (17,336 posts)
More legal trouble for Beck-backed Goldline
An employee at Goldline, hack pundits' beloved precious metal seller, says it scammed its most vulnerable consumers
BY ALEX SEITZ-WALD
If you’ve ever listened to conservative talk radio, you’ve probably heard of Goldline, the precious metal seller endorsed by Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and others. But,critics allege that Goldline is misleading its consumers, much like the talkers they sponsor.
The company’s business model was built on systemically swindling and scaring its mostly elderly clientele into purchasing overpriced gold coins, prosecutors in California alleged, leading the company to settle for $4.5 million in refunds to its customer. The City Attorney in Santa Monica, where the company is based, brought 19 criminal fraud charges against the company that were later dropped, but a Los Angeles judge last year instructed the company to foot the bill for a court-appointed monitor, who was tasked with ensuring the company revealed its price markups and stopped misleading consumers.
But now, the company’s former compliance officer is saying she was fired for complaining to her bosses that she was being prevented from speaking with the monitor, Courthouse News Service reported yesterday. Carol Taylor Gabrelow, who is suing Goldline in LA for wrongful termination, says her bosses were afraid she would spill the beans to the monitor about her company’s shady tactics. Her complaint alleges:
“Goldline specifically targets vulnerable consumers with sales tactics designed to pressure those consumers into buying products that would often result in the consumer losing over one-third of his or her investment the instant the purchase is made meaning that, even when the price of the precious metals increases, because these consumers were deceived into purchasing coins with mark-ups exceeding 50 percent, it could be years, if ever, before the consumer recoups, much less makes any profit on, the investment.”
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