The company Goldline scammed its customers into buying overvalued collectible gold coins instead of real gold bullion. Essentially, they were convincing their clients to pay a risk premium for coins, where the supposed risk was government confiscation of personal gold.
ABC broke this story, and they mention that Goldline used Glenn Beck ("The people I trust are the people at Goldline".... "You see, back in 1933, FDR said, 'OK, we're gonna take all your gold...'"), and other conservative pundits and politicians (Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson) to sell its overvalued gold coin business.
Goldline has agreed to refund $4.5 million to its customers and set up a fund of $800 K for further claims; in exchange a Santa Monica court dropped 19 criminal charges.
This is actually the second time a gold company advertised by Beck has run afoul of California law. I wonder if Glenn Beck, et al, will donate the revenues they received from Goldline?....
But this is about more than money. Goldline's pitch was based on a paranoid view that even buying gold wasn't safe, because the federal government could come and take it away. (Which is bogus, incidentally.) Without conservative talk radio and FOX, such paranoid beliefs would not be so widespread.
The real crime here is irresponsible talking heads leading millions of Americans to believe their government is fundamentally corrupt and out to get them. Too bad Goldline's celebrity accomplices like Glenn Beck don't have to pay any share of this settlement.
By Matthew Mosk
February 22, 2012 | ABC News