Settlement Reached in $68 Million WA Investment Fraud Case
According to the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, the next step will be the penalty and restitution phase.
Safeguard Metals settles multi-state case
You may have heard their ads on the radio or seen them on TV, Safeguard Metals LLC is one of a number of precious metal investment companies. They sell silver, gold, and other premium metals to investors seeking to have tangible, or physical assets.
The WA State DFI announced Wednesday that they and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) along with 29 other states have reached a settlement with Safeguard and owner Jeffrey Ikahn over allegations of fraud. The bulk of the incidents, says the lawsuit, involved elderly investors.
The lawsuit claimed between 2017 and 2021 the company deceived over 450 customers into buying precious metals with false and misleading statements. The company was also accused of marking up their prices between 51 and 71 percent, while leading customers to believe the margins were between 23 and 42 percent.
They also misleadingly steered most of these clients into buying overpriced silver coins that higher markup than gold. Officials say the bulk of the $68 million fraud came from these purchases.
According to the WA DFI:
"Safeguard and Ikahn also agreed to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleging violations of federal Securities Laws."
The next phase of the settlement will be determining customer restitution and civil penalties for the company.
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