Talk Radio Advertiser Goldline Battles Fraud Charges
November 2, 2011 at 1:11 PM (PT)
Six current or former executives of major talk radio advertiser GOLDLINE and the company itself are facing criminal fraud charges filed against them by the SANTA MONICA, CA City Attorney.
ABC NEWS and GOOD MORNING AMERICA are reporting that a 19-count complaint filed TUESDAY alleges that the company "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." Among the charges are theft by false pretenses, false advertising, and conspiracy. Former CEO MARK ALBARIAN, executives ROBERT FAZIO and LUIS BEELI, and salespeople CHARLES BORATGIS and STEPHANIE HOWARD were charged with fraud, according to ABC, while current CEO SCOTT CARTER has been charged with making false or misleading statements.
EVP BRIAN CRUMBAKER said in a statement released TODAY (11/2) that GOLDLINE "will vigorously contest the allegations," and said that the complaint has numerous errors, adding, "The so-called bait-and-switch allegation is preposterous because bullion accounts for more than 40% of the ounces of gold sold by the company during the past year."
GOLDLINE has been a prominent advertiser on talk radio and TV shows, including GLENN BECK's program, and "recommended by" statements from hosts including MONICA CROWLEY, SEAN HANNITY, LAURA INGRAHAM, LARS LARSON, MARK LEVIN, JERRY DOYLE and ALAN COLMES are posted at the GOLDLINE website; none of the hosts are being charged with any wrongdoing. ABC's BRIAN ROSS and his investigative team have been airing reports critical of GOLDLINE for several months.