Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s Securities Division ordered Walter Vera and his company Metals.com to cease and desist after allegedly misleading 13 Missouri residents into investing $1.4 million in gold and silver.
From Dec. 27, 2017, to Aug. 29, 2019, Vera and his company, also known as TMTE Inc., allegedly advised Missourians to invest in gold and silver through self-directed IRAs. Metals.com and its agents, which are unregistered in Missouri, are alleged to have engaged in scare tactics by claiming investors’ securities would lose value or that the U.S. economy would collapse, which they claimed made investing in metal safer.
“Prior to the sale of gold or silver, agents of Metals.com failed to disclose the risks involved with metals investments or the commission they would earn for the investment,” states a release.
“We believe these individuals used misleading, high-pressure techniques and scare tactics to convince elderly investors to sell securities they already owned in order to buy precious metals,” Ashcroft said. “All investments have risks, however an informed investor is less likely to react to such pressure. Before you invest, check with our office to ensure your agents are registered.”
The division ordered Vera and his company to show why they should not be ordered to pay restitution plus interest, civil penalties and investigation costs totaling more than $1.47 million.
Ashcroft urges all investors to know the risks of investing. If a person has questions about an investment opportunity or wants to check the background and registration status of a financial adviser, call the investor protection hotline at (800) 721-7996 or visit www.missouriprotectsinvestors.com to file a complaint.