Review: Goldline

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Not a typical review as I've never done business with them. However, this doesn't really surprise me:
Goldline, a company that used endorsements from Glenn Beck and other conservative icons to sell hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers, has been charged with theft and fraud in a 19-count criminal complaint filed Tuesday by local officials in California.

The criminal complaint filed Tuesday by the Santa Monica City Attorney's consumer protection unit marks the latest in a series of allegations it has leveled against the gold dealer, which pioneered the practice of weaving its sales pitches into broadcasts by popular conservative political personalities -- including two former presidential candidates -- to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of gold every year.

The complaint alleges that Goldline "runs a bait and switch operation in which customers, seeking to invest in gold bullion, are switched to highly overpriced coins by using false and misleading claims," according to a statement released by the consumer affairs division of the Santa Monica City Attorney's office.
"There are two main types of complaints we're seeing," Adam Radinsky of the Santa Monica City Attorney's office said at the time. "One is that customers say that they were lied to and misled in entering into their purchases of gold coins. And the other group is saying that they received something different from what they had ordered."
For instance, the complaint alleges that the company trains salespeople to "get the money in" from customers on the promise of delivering gold bullion, with the intent to later switch the sale to far more overpriced collectable gold coins. ...

All those companies that run TV commercials and tout their "specialists" who will help you invest rub me the wrong way. There isn't any real magic to investing in bullion.
They aren't really in the business of selling bullion. They try to sell rare coins because their margins are higher. Contempt is warranted but only to a certain degree. It's no different than Best Buy trying to sell you an extended warranty IMO.

I've heard the reasoning for buying the rare collectible gold coins to be that if the government should ever decide to reclaim all of "it's" gold from you, instead of giving you a fair market price for the gold contained in the coin, they will have to individually grade each piece as it is not only gold but a collectors item of art.

Then again I've heard that I should buy government bonds...
That's the sales pitch, but I don't really buy it. YMMV.

There is at least precedent. They at least aren't pulling this idea out of this air.

"(b) Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100.00 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins."

* necro bump *

As I am cleaning up the Marketplace forum, I ran across this old thread and went searching for what resulted from the lawsuit mentioned in the OP. Apparently they settled in 2012:

Goldline Agrees to Refund Millions to Customers​

The precious metals dealer Goldline will have to operate under a strict new set of rules as part of a California court settlement late Wednesday of a 19-count criminal fraud complaint brought against the company last year.
As part of the settlement, all criminal charges were dropped.
The company was charged with misdemeanors that included theft by false pretenses, false advertising, and conspiracy. In addition to the charges against the company, the complaint accused former CEO Mark Albarian, executives Robert Fazio and Luis Beeli, and salespeople Charles Boratgis and Stephanie Howard of defrauding customers. Current CEO Scott Carter was accused of making false or misleading statements. Each of the charged offenses carried a maximum penalty of one year in jail and maximum fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 per offense.

In Wednesday's settlement, approved by California Superior Court Judge Lisa Hart Cole, Goldline agreed to refund up to $4.5 million to former customers and to pay $800,000 into a fund for future claims. The settlement also sets up a series of new requirements for the company moving forward -- including provisions that the company clearly disclose its mark-up, stop telling customers that the government wants to confiscate its gold, and stop trying to persuade customers to guy collectable coins if they have called Goldline asking to buy bullion.

To ensure the company's compliance, the settlement requires Goldline to hire a monitor -- a former federal prosecutor -- to oversee its business practices for the next five years.
Goldline officials heralded the deal as a victory for the firm -- issuing a press release announcing that all charges against the company had been dropped.

"This is a great outcome for our customers and for the company," Goldline CEO Scott Carter said in the press release.

Goldline was acquired by A-Mark in 2017:

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A-Mark Precious Metals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMRK), a full-service precious metals trading company and an official distributor for all the major sovereign mints, has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Los Angeles-based Goldline, LLC, a leading direct retailer of precious metals to the investor community.

The website is still live. Who knew?
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