Beck Sponsor Hit With Big Fine and Judgment


Goldline, the ubiquitous benefactor for Glenn Beck, was always an obvious scam. Someone who could not see that is someone who is dumb enough to be a Glenn Beck fan (or to be Glenn Beck himself). Now a court has hit the company with a big fine and a judgment for fraud. Mother Jones reports:

On Wednesday, the Santa Monica city attorney obtained a judgment and injunction against Goldline that requires the company to radically overhaul its practices and to stop deceiving customers about prices, among other things. The company must refund up to $4.5 million to defrauded customers, and pay $800,000 into a fund for future claims. The judgment also requires the company to give up one of the staples of its marketing tactics, and one that was hyped routinely by Beck: the idea that the government’s coming for your gold. For years Beck and Goldline insisted customers should buy its “numismatic” (or antique) coins rather than standard government-issued bullion because, they claimed, in 1933 President Franklin Roosevelt had ordered the government to confiscate private citizens’ gold bullion; antique coins were spared from the seizure. The claim was a huge stretch, as was the notion Beck perpetuated that Obama was plotting to seize Americans’ gold. Now, Goldline has to quit talking about bullion confiscation lest it face further trouble from prosecutors.

To make sure that the company abides by the injunction, Goldline has to pay the cost of hiring a former federal prosecutor to monitor its operation. The monitor will have full access to company records and will perform undercover test calls to ensure that the myth of the 1933 gold confiscation has been banished from Goldline’s sales pitch…

This is the second time that a gold dealer associated with Beck has been sanctioned by prosecutors. In December 2010, Santa Monica prosecutors put the Superior Gold Group into receivership, freezing its assets and seeking restitution for its customers. Prosecutors alleged that the outfit had engaged in deceptive practices similar to Goldline’s, and had also taken money from customers and then failed to deliver any coins.

So Beck’s sponsor lied to its customers the same way Beck lies to his listeners. Quelle surprise.

Comments

  1. says

    I imagine we’ll be seeing Beck’s fanbase rising up in criticism that he dared to associate himself with such unsavory characters who profit from creating an environment of oppressive fear. Why, they might demand a public apology from Beck and stop watching his show.

    …Nope, couldn’t keep a straight face. It’ll be business as usual in planet Wingnuttia.

  2. gopiballava says

    See! They were right! The government is coming for your gold. First Superior Gold Group, then Goldline, next their customers.

    If somebody from the government calls and asks if you’ve bought gold from Goldline, the answer is no! They might claim they want to give you money, but since when has the government ever done that? What do you think you are, a corporation?

  3. says

    I did a story about people in my area buying Iraqi dinar. A woman whose ex-husband and daughter put thousands into this “investment” received boxes containing apparently hot-off-the-press, uncirculated Iraqi bills from an Atlanta company. A commodities trader said he could think of worse investments, but he would have to think really hard to do so.
    Priciest. Toilet. Paper. Ever.

  4. harold says

    Bronze Dog –

    I’ve often wondered how much cheating and abuse the less affluent fans of Fox/Limbaugh/Beck/Tea Party would take before a conscious doubt could enter their mind. Certainly you are right that this is nowhere near enough.

  5. Johnny Vector says

    Invest in Silver

    Get Your FREE Investor Kit

    Dear Google ad networks:

    Ed is a professional comedian. Please do not try to out-funny him.

    Thx.

  6. Pieter B, FCD says

    @Johnny Vector

    I’ve got that ad, and a banner from Blanchard offering investment in gold bullion.

  7. eric says

    Funny, the side ad on my page says “Invest in Silver.” Those anti-gold government bastards must have already infected my computer!

  8. Ryan Jean says

    @harold, #4: “I’ve often wondered how much cheating and abuse the less affluent fans of Fox/Limbaugh/Beck/Tea Party would take before a conscious doubt could enter their mind.”

    I’d be willing to venture that the majority of those scammed by the GOP (at large, or by these kinds of corporate wealth extractors with whom the GOP is partnered), especially those with less available to lose, would actually *increase* their devotion to the cause and increase the likelihood of future scams rather than break from it.

    The cognitive dissonance of considering yourself to be informed and competent while also being the repeat victim of the scam enterprise of the modern right is much easier to dissipate by rationalizing away the scam than by admitting the stupid acts.

  9. says

    Yet another case of COMMIE MUSLIM ATHEIST AMERICA-HATING LIBERALS PUNISHING SUCCESS!!!

    At this time, I’m seeing ads for gold (at the top), silver (to the right), AND a bankruptcy lawyer (below the FTB blogroll). Whatever AI is targeting these ads may not be able to out-funny Ed, but they’re sure making a good try at it.

  10. thompjs says

    Several liberal radio hosts were sponsored by Goldline weren’t they?

    I thought I heard Stephanie Miller pimping for them.
    Maybe another dealer?

  11. scott says

    From time to time I feel a little guilty about “freeloading” and turn off ad blocking on my favorite sites. This usually lasts about three days before I re-learn just how utterly awful most Web ads are.

    Also since many of those sites are political, way too many of the ads are disturbingly mistargeted- like anti-abortion petitions on Pandagon or Liberty University on FTB.

  12. JustaTech says

    @6: Area Man: And now you can watch TV shows about people who build bunkers for those people who are buying up seeds and guns, sure the end of the world is just around the corner. (I thought it was on Discovery, but now I can’t find it. Eh, cable.)

  13. says

    Question: can anyone here come up with any actual success stories of people investing in gold and coming out better off than people who didn’t, or who invested in something else like stocks, bonds, land, etc.?

    Go to an Amway event, and you’ll hear at least a few people bragging about how much money they made working for Amway. I have yet to hear any such stories from gold-buyers. Ads for outfits like Goldline offer nothing but fear, with no anecdotes of successful investment.

  14. Pieter B, FCD says

    I don’t remember which gold company sponsors Stephanie Miller, but part of the spiel is that it’s not the one that sponsors Beck.

    And when I see the Libery U ads on FTB, I always click through so they have to send Ed some money.

  15. raven says

    Question: can anyone here come up with any actual success stories of people investing in gold and coming out better off than people who didn’t, or who invested in something else like stocks, bonds, land, etc.?

    Oddly enough, yes.

    A friend bought gold one ounce coins, US mint from a local coin shop a few years ago.

    IIRC, the price was around $900. It is now $1786 from Kitco.

    In the same time frame interest rates have been near zero and the stock market has just wandered around going nowhere in particular.

    He did very well on that.

    That being said, a lot of people say that gold is the mother of all bubbles and will crash someday. Got me. I think it is possible but predicting if and when is anyone’s guess.

  16. Artor says

    A friend of mine who is an old-time hippy who didn’t even have a bank account until he was 60 invested in gold. Whenever he was a little ahead, he’d buy an ounce at a time, mostly back when it was around $600/oz. I think he had about 35oz when he showed me his stash. Say what you like about gold, but seeing that much in one place sure is pretty. I’d call him a success in gold investment. Buy it at $1700/oz? Hah!

  17. zxcier says

    I left a comment on The BlCraze once and now get their little emails, a veritable trove of crazy conspiracy fearmongering, either the gubmint’s coming for you/about to collapse/being taken over by the Chinese. So you must get their stuff about the 37 essentials to stockpile, why you need their unscienced non-hybrid seeds, the guns you need, and how to invest risk-free!! You’d have to be stupid or nuts to fall for any of it.

    So knowing that every commenter on that site receives these batshit emails, and still takes Beck and his bullshit seriously… I can only feel so much pity for them.

  18. says

    A friend bought gold one ounce coins, US mint from a local coin shop a few years ago.

    IIRC, the price was around $900. It is now $1786 from Kitco.

    In the same time frame interest rates have been near zero and the stock market has just wandered around going nowhere in particular.

    If by “a few years ago”, you mean early 2009, the stock market has roughly doubled since then, so gold hasn’t outperformed it over that time-frame. If you bought gold in the early 2000s, you’ve done much better than the stock market, but the gold mania didn’t really start until after the financial crisis and the takeover of the American government by Obama-Satan. And besides, the early 2000s was coming off two decades of flat or declining gold prices, so only the truly prophetic would have known to invest in it back then.

    That being said, a lot of people say that gold is the mother of all bubbles and will crash someday. Got me. I think it is possible but predicting if and when is anyone’s guess.

    It’s true that whether gold is in a bubble, and when it will pop, is difficult if not impossible to know. What can be known however is that gold is a shitty long-term investment, even if it’s not poised to crash. Gold does not generate wealth or income, unlike stocks, bonds, or real estate. It sits in a vault somewhere doing nothing. You have to hope that someone later on is willing to pay more for it than the last guy, ad infinitum. That can happen for awhile, but it cannot happen forever. The only thing gold is really good for is as a hedge against certain types of economic calamities. Kind of like seeds and ammo.

  19. Azkyroth says

    The only thing gold is really good for is as a hedge against certain types of economic calamities.

    And corrosion-resistant electrical contacts.

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