The State Office of Administrative Hearings has scheduled a hearing for May 28-29 in Austin on a precious metals company’s challenge to an Emergency Cease and Desist Order that accuses the company and its representatives of not being registered to render investment advice and perpetrating a fraud on elderly investors.
Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles on May 7 denied Metals.com’s request for a stay of the emergency order against it. The order remains in effect.
According to the order, Metals.com representatives are cold-calling potential investors and advising them that their money isn’t safe at registered brokers and investment advisers and they should move their funds into precious metals investments.
The majority of individuals Metals.com is soliciting are 65 to 90 years old, according to evidence secured by the Enforcement Division of the State Securities Board.
According to the order, Metals.com convinced an 80-year-old Dallas woman to liquidate $850,000 in her retirement accounts and transfer the money to invest in precious metals in a self-directed Individual Retirement Account.
The Dallas woman was the subject of a report to the State Securities Board of suspected financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The investment firm where she held her assets said it believed the woman did not understand the investment options Metals.com presented to her and didn’t realize Metals.com was going to move her money into a new, self-directed IRA.