The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) and the Alabama Securities Commission (ASC) issued cease and desist orders against TRUE BULLION LLC DBA GSI EXCHANGE, directing it to shut down illegal operations in Alabama and Texas.
The Texas and Alabama orders accuse GSI Exchange of engaging in an illegal advisory scheme involving over $32 million. The scam involves 450 investors many of whom are senior citizens. GSI Exchange allegedly told investors the holdings in their retirement portfolios were high risk and they may lose their assets. GSI Exchange is accused of encouraging these investors to liquidate their securities portfolios and use the proceeds to purchase gold and silver coins to the benefit of GSI through high commissions.
“Scams that prey on senior investors are particularly heinous,” said ASC Director Joseph Borg. “Seniors have worked hard all their lives to accumulate wealth and retire comfortably. Someone using scare tactics comes in, convinces them to liquidate and POOF… their retirement dreams are dashed, and they are left with very little.”
“The fees taken by GSI Exchange at the outset of the investment are unconscionable. By targeting senior investors, the company is exploiting those who can least afford to start over in accumulating their retirement nest eggs,” added TSSB Commissioner Travis J. Iles.
The orders allege GSI is taking 25+% of investor funds as an undisclosed commission or fee on the front-end of each precious metals transaction.
The orders name Anthony Anderson as the principal of GSI Exchange. Anderson and GSI Exchange are not registered or notice-filed to provide investment advice in Texas or Alabama (as required by state securities law).
The TSSB and ASC urge investors to investigate any precious metals investment before sending money to the promoter. Investors can better protect themselves by taking the following steps:
- Before investing with someone who claims to be a financial professional, verify he or she is registered by contacting your local state securities regulator - https://www.nasaa.org/contact-your-regulator/.
- Don’t fall for claims of guaranteed returns. All investing involves risk and there are no guarantees.
- Don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics or anyone trying to illicit an emotional response- especially fear or anxiety. Never make a hasty investment decision. Be sure you understand the product and associated risks.
- Investments cost money and salespersons often earn commissions. The financial professional working with you is required to disclose how they assess fees to your account, how they make money and how much. Always ask for this information upfront.
Investors can contact the ASC at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit its website at https://asc.alabama.gov/ and they can contact the TSSB at email@example.com and visit its website at https://www.ssb.texas.gov/.