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silverhawk View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Feb 2007 at 10:06am

Coin Companies Accused of Defrauding Consumers, Targeting the Elderly in Texas Lawsuit

 

HOUSTON, Feb. 12, 2007 – Consumers from 10 states have sued a group of Texas telemarketers for fraud and deceptive trade practices in the marketing of “rare” coins, according to the law firm representing the consumers. In a lawsuit filed in state court in Beaumont, Texas, 21 affiliated companies and individuals are accused of using high-pressure, unlawful telemarketing tactics to convince senior citizens and others to access retirement savings, obtain home equity loans, or liquidate assets such as stocks, bonds or real estate to buy gold, platinum and silver coins of dubious worth and origin.

 

The defendants – which operate out of a Beaumont, Tex., compound and gross an estimated $300 million annually – also are accused of making unauthorized charges to credit cards, sending unordered coins to customers, fabricating information about the origin and current and likely future value of coins, and not honoring return guarantees.

 

The defendants include Universal Coin & Bullion, Ltd., 1st American Reserve, 1st Capital Reserve, 1st Fidelity Reserve, and 1st National Reserve, among others. Attorney Jason A. Gibson, of The Gibson Law Firm in Houston, represents the 15 consumers, who spent $3.4 million on coins marketed by the defendants.

 

The group’s petition alleges violations of Texas law, including negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA), and conspiracy. The plaintiffs are seeking actual and exemplary damages of $500 million, including trebling of damages allowed under the Texas DTPA.

 

Mr. Gibson said, “The Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general throughout the nation have issued warnings about unethical coin dealers and telemarketers. Now, consumers, supported by reputable coin dealers, are fighting back. The abuses committed by the very sophisticated ‘boiler-room’ operations of this unregulated coin industry are predatory, and must be stopped by the government or in the courts. These defendants invoked everything from the 9/11 tragedy to the natural fears of the elderly to induce sales.

 

  • Several of our clients are in their 80s, and one has Alzheimer’s disease. The conduct in this case is outrageous.” According to the complaint, the defendants:
  • Use a company-wide scheme that encourages sales persons to use unlawful and misleading selling points and sales tactics on unsuspecting customers;
  • Obtain credit card numbers and charge customers’ cards, without permission in a practice known as “banging” or “burning” a credit card;
  • Mislead customers about the mark-up of each coin being sold, failing to disclose the real mark-up and failing to disclose that a “middle-man” company has been established to allow an additional mark-up of coins that is not disclosed to customers;
  • “Bait and switch,” selling customers on more expensive coins or coins defendants know they do not have in their possession, and then send customers less expensive coins or coins the customers did not order;
  • Represent and market themselves as different companies with different addresses, when in reality, they are all located under the same roof on the same premises.

 

The plaintiffs are from Birmingham, Ala.; Gulf Shores, Ala.; Newport Beach, Calif.; Rexburg, Idaho; Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Tavares, Fla.; Birden, Ill.; Belle Chasse, La.; Freemont, Mich.; Johnson Lake, Neb.; Columbus, Ohio; Austin, Texas; and San Antonio, Texas. The case is “O’Neill, et al., v. 1st Capital Reserve, L.P., et al.,” (No. D 178-641) in the 136th District Court of Jefferson, County, Texas. ###  

 



Edited by silverhawk - 13 Feb 2007 at 10:11am
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silverhawk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silverhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2007 at 10:12am
We should follow this one...
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codydude815 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote codydude815 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2007 at 1:33am
yeah, thats just wrong of that company.....
The Cody has spoken
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Teddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2007 at 12:19pm
I worked for this company a few years back and when my father told me what was going on I couldn't believe it.  I saw this on here and felt that I had to register and post what I know. 
 
Although I left on bad terms I can assure you that I never witnessed any of the stuff that this lawsuit claims.  I was there almost 9 months and I must admit they run a pretty tight ship.  If anything, they are anal about integrity and customer service.  Our phone calls were recorded at all times and if you lied or mislead anyone in any way you would probably get fired.
 
I think my wife still talks to a girl that works there.  I will ask her and post any details I find out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silverhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2007 at 1:21am
I would be a little surprised if Universal is found guilty. They have been around quite a while.  Time will tell if this is true or not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote just carl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2007 at 10:05pm
I suspect that there may be a bit of something there but most likely just some attorneys trying to make money on class action type law suites. Note Universalcoin is advertised on about the 4th page of teh 2007 Red Book as giving away some NGC certified Silver Eagles. I tried that and received them at no cost except postage and handling of course. This allowed them to send or call with offers on other coins. They did call me and I explained I was really not in the market of buying coins through the mail and they were nice and even asked if it was alright to continue sending me coin information. I said yes and occationally get something from them about coins. No high pressure sales attempts at all. Actually nice sounding people. Like I said, just to many attorneys out there trying to make money on anything. Example is here in Illinois we have aproximately 2,000 people a year passing the bar exam. This puts well over 20,000 attorneys in ten years on the streets trying to make the big money. Class action law suites are just one of their latest things.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaglawyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2007 at 5:32am

"Teddy," are you willing to give your full name and swear under oath to the statements you've made?  The allegations set forth in the lawsuit I filed are not mere "allegations."  Each item asserted has already been proven through the deposition testimony of multiple former employees, former customers and current owners and/or employees of the coin companies in Beaumont.  This is not the first round of lawsuits against UCB or its related companies. I filed to first case against them in March of 2006. The case settled in September of 2006 for a confidential amount, along with two other related cases.  It was during this time the evidence was obtained and the information discovered.  If the evidence obtained to date does not convince you, perhaps you should check with every attorney general in the nation to see just how many complaints have been filed against these companies.  Coincidence?  Or. . .talk to a dozen or so senior citizens who have had their entire life's savings taken from them and listent to their stories.  Perhaps the discussions would enlighten many of you who think this is about an attorney making a buck.  Or. . . talk to coin dealers around the country who have received complaints from customers about the the deceptive business practices of the coin companies in Beaumont.  Or. . .just stay tuned and read about it.  As this case proceeds, more and more evidence will come out.   As for "Teddy," it sounds like he is still working for the company and putting out the best spin possible.  Teddy told all of you the coin companies record "every" conversation . ..  what he didn't tell you is that the system was just installed a couple years ago. . .and that each salesperson has a "personal" button and a "business" button at their disposal.  If the "personal" button is used, the phone call is not recorded.  The testimony has been the sales force would use the "personal" button to pitch heat and make the sale.  The only portion of the conversation that would likely be recorded was a short, self-serving verification at the end. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Teddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2007 at 3:36pm
Jaglawyer... absolutely I am.  If somebody was wronged by those guys I am on your side. I was merely stating what I believed to be the facts.  Unfortunately, I don't think I will help your case.
I only worked there for a short time and you are right, I don't think they recorded phone calls since they started the business, but if I recall, the "personal" button you mentioned didn't work.  Our calls were still recorded.  Thats something else I would testify to.
I don't care what happens to that company... have fun, I hope you make a bunch of money, thats your job.  The person putting a spin on this is you.  Companies get complaints all the time.
I just read over your allegations again and all I can tell you is that I NEVER saw any of that happen.  You are an attorney.  I have attorneys in my family.  You are out to make money which is fine. You don't have to defend it.  You are also needed to keep companies in line.  I'm with you, I just don't think I can help you. 
Again, I will post any info I recieve.     
                                                                                                                                                                                  


Edited by Teddy - 20 Feb 2007 at 3:38pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaglawyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2007 at 7:25am
What did you do for the company?  What is your name?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Teddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2007 at 2:01pm
I sold coins and I made an HONEST living.  Or tried to anyway.  I wasn't very good at it.  Why do you want my name?  I don't believe in lawsuit abuse Mr. Gibson, and this sounds like a typical case.  I am posting the truth about something I experienced FIRST HAND and you are not even taking it into account, apparently b/c it doesn't agree w/ your mere allegations.  How long did YOU work UCB?
 
Look, those guys aren't perfect.  Are you?  Maybe they did something wrong and deserve to pay for it.  Great, they should.  I'm just telling you that the allegations are pretty crazy compared to my experience there.  Those guys went way overboard on preaching against the very things you are accusing them of.
 
If I feel like I need to talk to you in person I will have my attorney contact you.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaglawyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2007 at 6:37am
Edited

Please no advertising/promoting yourself. Stay on topic.


-Rob



Edited by Starwarsfreak - 28 Feb 2007 at 11:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote silverhawk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2007 at 11:27am
This needs to play out in court. Let's not post / name names.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gold_bug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2007 at 2:32pm
How is the hunt going Jag?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigRod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2007 at 6:37am
Wow! That kept me entertained for about 5 minutes.
Traveling twice the speed of sound,
Its easy to get burned...
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