The Federal Trade Commission has named an additional defendant as part of its case against a telemarketing operation that allegedly conned senior citizens into buying precious metals on credit without clearly disclosing significant costs and risks, including the likelihood that consumers would have to pay more money or lose their investment. According to papers filed with the court, the scheme took in more than $37 million from consumers. In May 2011, the FTC charged Harry R. Tanner, Jr., and his wife, Andrea Tanner, and their company, American Precious Metals LLC, with violating the FTC Act and the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule. The court subsequently halted the defendants' allegedly deceptive practices pending a trial, froze their assets, and appointed a receiver to oversee the business. The amended complaint announced today adds Sam J. Goldman as a defendant.
The Commission vote to file the amended complaint against was 5-0. The amended complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on October 11, 2011. (FTC File No. X110036; the staff contact is Dama Brown, FTC's Southeast Region, 404-656-1361.)
NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.