A jury in U.S. District Court in Austin on Oct. 4 convicted Charles McAllister, the former CEO and owner of the Austin-based precious metals firm Bullion Direct Inc., of two counts of wire fraud and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction with criminally derived property.
McAllister faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud count and up to 10 years on the money laundering count. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 19.
Customers of Bullion Direct paid McAllister to buy precious metals to ship to them or hold in the company's vault. Authorities said McAllister defrauded investors of at least $16 million.
The FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Texas State Securities Board investigated Bullion Direct and McAllister. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Austin prosecuted McAllister.