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Glenn Beck-Endorsed Goldline Charged With Fraud

If you’re familiar with those old television ads with the likes of Glenn Beck and other conservative political figures endorsing the company Goldline you’re more than likely aware of the deals they offered for consumers to buy gold in order to protect families in these rough economic times.

Over a year ago ABC Good Morning America’s Brian Ross started an investigation into the company after complaints started rolling in from consumers about being baited and switched by the company when attempting to buy products offered through their television commercials or receiving products completely different from what they ordered.

On Tuesday, November 1, 2011 local officials in California filed a complaint that charges Goldline with theft and fraud in a 19-count criminal complaint.

ABC reports, “the criminal complaint filed Tuesday by the Santa Monica City Attorney’s consumer protection unit marks the latest in a series of allegations it has leveled against the gold dealer, which pioneered the practice of weaving its sales pitches into broadcasts by popular conservative political personalities — including two former presidential candidates — to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of gold every year.

The complaint alleges that Goldline ‘runs a bait and switch operation in which customers, seeking to invest in gold bullion, are switched to highly overpriced coins by using false and misleading claims,’ according to a statement released by the consumer affairs division of the Santa Monica City Attorney’s office.

The company has been charged in the court filing with misdemeanors that include theft by false pretenses, false advertising, and conspiracy, the City Attorney’s office said. In addition to the charges against the company, the complaint accuses former CEO Mark Albarian, executives Robert Fazio and Luis Beeli, and salespeople Charles Boratgis and Stephanie Howard of defrauding customers. Current CEO Scott Carter is accused of making false or misleading statements. Each of the charged offenses carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and maximum fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 per offense” – Source.

Below is one of the original news stories about Goldline and what lead to this entire investigation. Embedding has been disabled by ABC News so in order to view the video please click the picture to be taken to the video.

Glenn Beck Endorsed Goldline Charged With Fraud

Have you or anyone you know taken advantage of the Goldline deals and offers? What was your experience? We want to hear from you – leave a comment below!


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About Amanda Miller

Amanda Miller
  • Karen

    Was the Better Business Bureau Involved in Gold Dealing Schemes?

    Goldline International, Inc, a North American precious metal dealer, recently made front headlines after a complaint was filed against them by the Santa Monica City Attorney over alleged criminal actions including grand theft by false pretense, conspiracy, false advertising, bait and switch operations and elder abuse. Charges were filed against the former and current CEOs of Goldline Mark Alabarian and Scott Carter (respectively), sales people Charles Boratgis and Stephanie Howard as well as executives Robert Fazio and Luis Beeli. The company allegedly convinced clients to buy gold bullion and then used a bait and switch operation to swap them out for overpriced rare coins. Some complaints claimed that Goldline charged over 2000% in commission. Goldline has received many complaints, over one hundred in just the past few years. This has left many people wondering why the Better Business Bureau gave them an A rating every year, which allowed the company to continue their illegal activities. People continue to question whether the District Attorney will put the Better Business Bureau under fire for their A Rating.

    The Better Business Bureau has been accused of accepting money in exchange for better ratings. Several reports have surfaced that confirmed the BBB also took payment in exchange for removal of bad reviews or complaints on their website. The Better Business Bureau is supposed to give businesses a rating based on their business practices and customer satisfaction. When looking at the ratings of some of the most popular gold dealers in the Better Business Bureau listings there seems to be a disconnection between the number of complaints and the rating given by the Bureau. Take the following listing from gold dealers in Southern California as an example:

    Goldline International, Inc – F Rating, 73 Complaints, this was only downgraded from an A to an F after the District Attorney filed complaints against the company
    Monex Deposit Company – A+ Rating, 69 Complaints
    Capital Gold Group, Inc – A- Rating, 14 Complaints
    Lear Capital Inc – A+ Rating, 55 Complaints
    Merit Financial Services – A+ Rating, 47 Complaints

    It’s interesting to see that companies (like Monex Deposit Company and Merit Financial Services) with over sixty, or even over forty complaints, can still obtain A ratings. This makes the Better Business Bureau look suspect.

     The following is a list of the top executives at the Better Business Bureau:
    Stephen A. Cox (aka Steve Cox) – President/CEO
    Beverly Baskin – Senior VP
    Genie Barton – Vice President and Director, Online Behavioral Advertising Program
    Rodney L. Davis – Senior VP Enterprise Programs
    Joseph E. Dillon – VP and CFO
    Victoria Doran – VP Brand & Digital Media
    Chris Garver – Senior VP, Chief Information Officer
    Frances Henderson – National Director, Privacy Initiatives
    Susan Kearney – Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer
    Wayne J. Keeley – VP & Director, CARU
    Elaine Kolish – VP & Director Children’s Food & Bev
    Andrea C. Levine – Senior VP, NAD
    Brenda Linnington – Director, BBB Military Line
    Peter Marimello – VP, Electronic Retail Self Regulation Program
    C. Lee Peeler – EVP & President NARC
    Steven Salter – VP, Standards & Services
    Anaise Schroeder – VP Human Resources
    H. Art Taylor – President & CEO, BBB WGA
    Mary Lou Watkins – Senior VP, Chief of Staff
    Bennett Weiner – VP, CBBB & COO, BBB WGA
    Richard Woods – VP, General Counsel
    Vincent L. Gottuso – President, Southland BBB Office
    Mary Lou Diaz – Director of Consumer Services, Southland BBB Office
    Mr. Tom Bartholomy – President/CEO
    Ms. Janet J. Robb – President
    Ms. Jan Quintrall – President
    Mr. Matthew Fehling – President
    Mr. Edward J. Johnson, III – President and CEO

    If you believe that these executives are suspicious and should be investigated, you should take steps to file a complaint against the Better Business Bureau. These executives could be co-conspirators in the Goldline Inc. charges, as well as play a role in a “pay for play” operation that allows consumers to be tricked into working with companies that are scheming them.

    Take these three steps to file a complaint:

    Step 1
    Send a complaint to:
    The Council of Better Business Bureau
    4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 800
    Arlington, VA 22203-1838
    Phone: 703-276-0100
    Fax: 703-525-8277

    Step 2
    Write a letter expressing your concern about: Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices by the Better Business Bureau.
    Send the letter to your state Attorney General office.

    Step 3
    Send a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

    With more complaints filed against the Better Business Bureau, the more awareness of their suspicious behavior will spread and perhaps a real investigation will take place in order to protect the consumers who believed in their ratings.

    • Todds

      Apple has 2035 complaints and an A+ rating. The more customers a company has, the more complaints they will receive. I think the complaint/customer ratio is a better judge of a company. I don’t really see anything suspicious.

    • Todds

      Apple has 2035 complaints and an A+ rating. The more customers a company has, the more complaints they will receive. I think the complaint/customer ratio is a better judge of a company. I don’t really see anything suspicious.

    • Jg

      It’s not the number of complaints a company has, it’s what they do with them. Idiot.

  • Karen

    Was the Better Business Bureau Involved in Gold Dealing Schemes?

    Goldline International, Inc, a North American precious metal dealer, recently made front headlines after a complaint was filed against them by the Santa Monica City Attorney over alleged criminal actions including grand theft by false pretense, conspiracy, false advertising, bait and switch operations and elder abuse. Charges were filed against the former and current CEOs of Goldline Mark Alabarian and Scott Carter (respectively), sales people Charles Boratgis and Stephanie Howard as well as executives Robert Fazio and Luis Beeli. The company allegedly convinced clients to buy gold bullion and then used a bait and switch operation to swap them out for overpriced rare coins. Some complaints claimed that Goldline charged over 2000% in commission. Goldline has received many complaints, over one hundred in just the past few years. This has left many people wondering why the Better Business Bureau gave them an A rating every year, which allowed the company to continue their illegal activities. People continue to question whether the District Attorney will put the Better Business Bureau under fire for their A Rating.

    The Better Business Bureau has been accused of accepting money in exchange for better ratings. Several reports have surfaced that confirmed the BBB also took payment in exchange for removal of bad reviews or complaints on their website. The Better Business Bureau is supposed to give businesses a rating based on their business practices and customer satisfaction. When looking at the ratings of some of the most popular gold dealers in the Better Business Bureau listings there seems to be a disconnection between the number of complaints and the rating given by the Bureau. Take the following listing from gold dealers in Southern California as an example:

    Goldline International, Inc – F Rating, 73 Complaints, this was only downgraded from an A to an F after the District Attorney filed complaints against the company
    Monex Deposit Company – A+ Rating, 69 Complaints
    Capital Gold Group, Inc – A- Rating, 14 Complaints
    Lear Capital Inc – A+ Rating, 55 Complaints
    Merit Financial Services – A+ Rating, 47 Complaints

    It’s interesting to see that companies (like Monex Deposit Company and Merit Financial Services) with over sixty, or even over forty complaints, can still obtain A ratings. This makes the Better Business Bureau look suspect.

     The following is a list of the top executives at the Better Business Bureau:
    Stephen A. Cox (aka Steve Cox) – President/CEO
    Beverly Baskin – Senior VP
    Genie Barton – Vice President and Director, Online Behavioral Advertising Program
    Rodney L. Davis – Senior VP Enterprise Programs
    Joseph E. Dillon – VP and CFO
    Victoria Doran – VP Brand & Digital Media
    Chris Garver – Senior VP, Chief Information Officer
    Frances Henderson – National Director, Privacy Initiatives
    Susan Kearney – Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer
    Wayne J. Keeley – VP & Director, CARU
    Elaine Kolish – VP & Director Children’s Food & Bev
    Andrea C. Levine – Senior VP, NAD
    Brenda Linnington – Director, BBB Military Line
    Peter Marimello – VP, Electronic Retail Self Regulation Program
    C. Lee Peeler – EVP & President NARC
    Steven Salter – VP, Standards & Services
    Anaise Schroeder – VP Human Resources
    H. Art Taylor – President & CEO, BBB WGA
    Mary Lou Watkins – Senior VP, Chief of Staff
    Bennett Weiner – VP, CBBB & COO, BBB WGA
    Richard Woods – VP, General Counsel
    Vincent L. Gottuso – President, Southland BBB Office
    Mary Lou Diaz – Director of Consumer Services, Southland BBB Office
    Mr. Tom Bartholomy – President/CEO
    Ms. Janet J. Robb – President
    Ms. Jan Quintrall – President
    Mr. Matthew Fehling – President
    Mr. Edward J. Johnson, III – President and CEO

    If you believe that these executives are suspicious and should be investigated, you should take steps to file a complaint against the Better Business Bureau. These executives could be co-conspirators in the Goldline Inc. charges, as well as play a role in a “pay for play” operation that allows consumers to be tricked into working with companies that are scheming them.

    Take these three steps to file a complaint:

    Step 1
    Send a complaint to:
    The Council of Better Business Bureau
    4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 800
    Arlington, VA 22203-1838
    Phone: 703-276-0100
    Fax: 703-525-8277

    Step 2
    Write a letter expressing your concern about: Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices by the Better Business Bureau.
    Send the letter to your state Attorney General office.

    Step 3
    Send a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

    With more complaints filed against the Better Business Bureau, the more awareness of their suspicious behavior will spread and perhaps a real investigation will take place in order to protect the consumers who believed in their ratings.

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