via wikimedia commons
via wikimedia commons

A Los Angeles County gold dealer was sentenced Thursday to more than 11 years behind bars for conning hundreds of retirees out of their life savings in a precious metals scam that raked in nearly $11 million.

Bruce R. Sands Jr., 54, of Valencia, was also ordered to pay about $11 million in restitution to victims and serve three years of supervised release following his 135-month federal prison sentence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sands, who pleaded guilty in April to multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, owned Superior Gold Group, which had offices in Santa Monica, West Hills and Woodland Hills, and also used an Irvine address.

For about three years, starting in October 2007, the company solicited investments in gold coins and bullion and other precious metals through national radio, television and internet advertising.

Sands admitted that he took payments from customers, never provided the gold ordered, charged prices higher than fair market value and misled customers into buying expensive specialty coins.

Sands falsely told about 300 victims that their purchases or profits would be delivered to them directly or to their retirement accounts. Instead, he used the cash to fund a luxurious lifestyle, including his home, a Porsche, a Hummer and a Lincoln SUV, federal prosecutors said.

“The tragedy of this crime is that Mr. Sands preyed on retirees looking for a place to protect their life savings, but he left them financially devastated,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said.

Sands pleaded guilty less than two weeks before he was scheduled to go on trial.

–City News Service 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.