Thursday, March 25, 2021

Des Moines -- Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen today announced that Iowa investors who were previously defrauded by Metals.com, Tower Equity, Chase Metals, or Barrick Capital have until April 30, 2021, to file a claim with the court appointed Receiver in order to try and recover at least a portion of their lost funds.

Ommen joined 29 other states and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in filing a consolidated nationwide enforcement action last fall to halt a fraudulent precious metals scheme that had solicited $185 million from at least 1,600 seniors and other investors.

The enforcement action was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which entered an injunction and a restraining order freezing the assets of the defendants and appointed Kelly Crawford as Receiver to wind down the operation of the business and to marshal assets of the defendants for the benefit of defrauded clients.  The effect of these actions was to end the fraudulent precious metals solicitations.

The Receiver will begin administering the claims process and returning money to defrauded clients.  As part of the process, the Receiver is sending correspondence, instructions and a claims form to investors.  Defrauded clients must complete and return their claims forms to the Receiver to participate in the claims process and request a return of money.  THE DEADLINE TO RETURN THE CLAIM FORM IS APRIL 30, 2021.

“The Iowa Insurance Division continues to fight to protect senior citizens and other victims,” Ommen said.  “We are committed to holding fraudsters accountable for their actions and pursuing relief for victims of illegal scams.  We are therefore encouraging defrauded clients to promptly begin working with the Receiver to request a return of funds.” 

Defrauded clients should direct questions about the claims process to the Receiver.  They can contact the Receiver by email at kelly.crawford@solidcounsel.com or by phone at 214-706-4213.  The Receiver also maintains a website that provides information about the claims process, and it is accessible at https://www.metalsandbarrickcapitalreceivership.com.

The Iowa Insurance Division can also provide additional information and explanation relating to the allegations of fraud, the lawsuit, the receivership, and the claims process. The Iowa Insurance Division can be reached by phone at 515-654-6600 or email at natalie.licht@iid.iowa.gov.  

“State securities regulators are working together to make sure that any available funds are distributed to the victims,” Ommen said.  “The Iowa Insurance Division stands ready to assist defrauded Iowans as they navigate the claims process in order to recover the funds they lost in this scam.”

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