On Nov. 1, the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office filed a 19-count criminal complaint against Goldline International, a leading gold coin dealer, dubbing the company a “bait and switch” operation.
Goldline, known for advertising on radio and TV talk shows like Glenn Beck’s, is charged with repeatedly trying to convince customers who are seeking to invest in gold bullion to instead buy what it calls “overpriced” coins. Goldline has “no intention” of selling bullion, the City Attorney’s Office charges, and, in fact, punishes salespeople if they don’t sell a specific amount of coins.
The charges, all of which are misdemeanors, include grand theft by false pretenses, false advertising, and conspiracy.
In a statement, Goldline executive vice president Brian Crumbaker called the complaint “without merit.”
“The so-called bait and switch allegation is preposterous because bullion accounts for more than 40 percent of the ounces of gold sold by the company during the past year,” Crumbaker said in a statement. “We believe Goldline has industry best-practices in customer disclosures enabling the most informed decisions.”
He noted the company prides itself on having a complaint rate of less than one-tenth of one percent of its transactions.