Multistate settlement reached in silver coin fraud case
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - State Attorney General Alan Wilson has announced that he and Secretary of State Mark Hammond have reached a Multistate Settlement Agreement with Safeguard Metals.
The settlement follows a 2022 enforcement action that alleged Safeguard and Ikahn targeted retirees in a nationwide, $68 million fraud.
“Safeguard Metals used fraudulent and deceptive practices to solicit millions of dollars from vulnerable retirees, resulting in substantial losses in their retirement accounts,” Wilson said. “South Carolina, along with the CFTC and other state regulators, will continue to hold these bad actors accountable in the precious metals industry.” Secretary Hammond stated, “Today, I am pleased to join Attorney General Wilson and stand up for South Carolinians against this insidious type of financial exploitation.”
The attorney general’s office said Safeguard convinced mostly elderly and retirement-aged people to transfer their retirement savings into one that would allow them to buy silver coins. Safeguard claimed the coins were worth more than the value of the precious metals inside them.
Safeguard represented the typical markup of the coins as 20-23% when they were more than 40% in most cases and sometimes as high as 71%, the attorney general’s office said.
As part of the settlement, Safeguard and Jeffery Ikahn will agree to not provide unlicensed investment advice.
In South Carolina, Ikahn agreed to be barred from acting as an investment advisor, investment advisor representative, broker-dealer, or agent in connection with the offer, sale, or purchase of any security.
After the settlement is approved by the court, the parties will determine the appropriate amount of customer restitution.
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