April 3, 2014
Arthur John Schlecht was found guilty of operating a fraudulent precious metals investment business that fleeced $25 million from investors. Schlecht, of Boone, North Carolina promised hundreds of clients purported safe investments in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. He assured these innocent investors that the precious metals would be stored in vaults, all while making steady gains. But instead of investing the money, Schlecht spent millions on cars, jewelry, maid services, landscaping, interior furnishings, and other personal luxuries.
Schlecht hid his scam by creating several sketchy corporations, Global Bullion Trading Group Inc., WJS Funding Inc., d/b/a Capital Asset Management, and Certified Inc. d/b/a Certified Clearing. Each business claimed to be a prudent investment firm offering investors the opportunity to purchase precious metals with a track record of safe returns. However, the companies did not purchase actual metal in the name of their investors.
Frederick B. Gomer, Carlos Rodriguez, Ricardo Padron, and Robert Roca helped him steal millions, making the crimes a conspiracy. Each co-defendant pleaded guilty prior to trial. Schlecht now faces up to a 40 year sentence as well as fines and restitution.