Recently, Representative Anthony Weiner (D-New York) issued a report on Goldline International to the SEC and FTC, claiming that Goldline is guilty of misrepresenting itself to buyers and charging astronomical prices for its precious metals.
The reason Goldline is being attacked? It buys advertising during Glenn Beck’s Fox News television show, and Glenn happens to think gold is a good investment. Since Beck is a harsh critic of the Democratic agenda, something had to be done to tarnish the reputation of him and his advertisers.
The report claims and “investigation” was done by Weiner’s people, but what they’ve done can hardly be called anything near “investigation.” For this reason, Barry Minkow and Fraud Discovery Institute did an investigation into Goldline of their own. The work was completely unpaid, and was simply done out of a desire to set the record straight on the real bad actors here.
I participated in the investigation, giving my opinion on multi-level marketing company Numis Network (which also sells gold and silver coins), and investigating the prices charged by competitors of Goldline for some of the more common coins.
The report on our findings is lengthy, but contains everything you need to verify what we’ve found. There are links to relevant data, and attachments supporting our conclusions.
What did we find about Goldline International? It’s not the fraud. The people investigating on behalf of Weiner are the real frauds, providing only part of the story in their report to the SEC and FTC, apparently in order to make the company look bad (and therefore fulfill Weiner’s political agenda).
Here is a summary of what we found:
- Allegation: Weiner criticizes Goldline because of complaints on the website Ripoff Report lodged by consumers who say Goldline representatives improperly hold themselves out as investment advisors.
- What Weiner didn’t tell you: Ripoff Report says (in response to the consumer complaints) that you can feel completely confident doing business with Goldline. Weiner gave us only half of the story in his report.
- Allegation: Goldline grossly overcharges for its products
- What Weiner didn’t tell you: Our sampling of coins listed in the Weiner report showed that Goldline’s prices were very comparable to those of six competitors. He also forgot to mention that companies are free to set whatever prices they like for their products.
- Allegation: Goldline says they’ll buy back your gold and silver, but doesn’t “guarantee” that
- What Weiner didn’t tell you: It is against the law for Goldline to offer a buyback guarantee. If they offered such a guarantee, they would be in violation of securities laws because their salespeople are not licensed broker dealers.
- Allegation: Goldline salespeople misrepresent themselves and imply that they are investment advisors, which would mean they have a fiduciary duty to those buying from them.
- What Weiner didn’t tell you: In the Risk Disclosure section of Goldline’s website, it very clearly states “Goldline’s employees are not licensed as investment advisors and are not authorized to recommend the purchase or sale of any product or investment other than the products specifically sold by Goldline.”
- Allegation: Goldline has “hidden fees” for things like storage of your gold, mailing your gold to you, and selling your gold.
- What Weiner didn’t tell you: The fees charged by Goldline are anything but hidden. The Goldline website has at least 5 statements about the fees and how they’re calculated
- Allegation: Goldline confuses customers regarding the buyback of their gold.
- What Weiner didn’t tell you: Goldline clearly states that it will buy back gold at their current bid/purchase price. The words “bid” and “purchase” price have a clear meaning and are not in any way confusing.
Fraud Discovery Institute also looked into the backgrounds of the Goldline International executives, and could find nothing sketchy.
What’s the bottom line here? The Weiner report was meant to smear Glenn Beck and Goldline. And he might have been successful if FDI hadn’t been willing to put in countless hours on the issues and getting to the real truth. Goldline International is not the fraud. Weiner is.