LAYTON – A Layton rare coin dealer has all of his assets frozen after federal investigators say he scammed people out of $170 million in a massive Ponzi scheme.
Customers like Daniel Jesse say they would shop at Rust Rare Coin, almost religiously. He says he would buy five Silver Eagle Dollars with every paycheck.
“My experience with them has been perfect. I’ve never had an issue,” he says.
So, when he found out the doors were closed and everything inside was seized, “I was blown away,” he says.
Investigators with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission say Gaylen Dean Rust had tricked hundreds of investors in 17 states, including Utah. In a statement released to the press, they say he had taken in $42 million in just the first eight months of this year, alone.
Rust is accused of pooling investors together and convincing them they could make high profits from him buying silver when the price is low, then selling when the price is high. He also reportedly told investors he had nearly $80 million worth of silver stored in secured locations in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, but, investigators say that wasn’t true.
Supervisory Special Agent Michael Pickett with the FBI can’t talk about this case specifically, but, he says a lot of Utahns are scammed by people we trust.
“Many times, the victims that we got to interview are hesitant to talk to us because they feel by talking to us then they’re absolutely not going to get their investment back. Then, it’s truly a scam,” Pickett says.
Frequently, scammers will use high pressure sales tactics to rush people into making an investment decision.
He adds, “[They say] if you don’t act, someone else will. But, they will also encourage them not to talk to authorities if they ever question the investment opportunity.”
However, there is a way we can do our homework before investing. Pickett recommends people log on to UTfraud.com.
“The state created the first in the nation white collar crime registry.”
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