New York (CBSNewYork) — Three Florida men using a Wall Street address duped at least 150 people into spending $8 million on precious metals they did not own, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said.
The men, all in their 30s, allegedly encouraged their victims to invest their retirement savings in silver bullion, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported. The company, PMCO, told customers that it held many tons of metals, employed hundreds of people and counted several large insurance companies and the New York Mets among its clients — none of which was true, prosecutors said.
The accused mastermind, Sean Robert Stropp, allegedly claimed he had more than 30 years of experience. He is 31.
The suspects set up a virtual office in Manhattan, but the address was only used to forward mail and money to themselves, Vance said.
Stropp, Karl Spicer, 37, and Ricardo Garcia, 32, were indicted on charges that include grand larceny, scheme to defraud and failure to register as commodities brokers.
“Because New York is the financial capital of the United States, some companies, like the one named in this indictment, seek to set up ‘virtual’ offices on Wall Street,” Vance said in a statement. “The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office will continue to vigilantly protect investors against those who seek to use New York’s reputation as a means to defraud others.”
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