News and Press Releases

JUPITER MAN SENTENCED IN $1.6 MILLION PRECIOUS METALS INVESTMENT SCHEME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, and Amos Rojas, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, FDLE), Miami Field Office, J. Thomas Cardwell, Commissioner, State of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, and Edward M. Morley, Chief, Stuart Police Department, announce yesterday’s sentencing of defendant Christopher Arthur Kertatos, 40, of Jupiter, Florida. U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore sentenced Kertatos to 42 months in prison, following his earlier plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and eight counts of mail fraud for his involvement in a $1.6 million fraud involving the precious metals market.

According to statements made in court and documents filed in the case, Kertatos was the operator of Bullion Trading Group, with offices located in Stuart and West Palm Beach, Florida. Bullion Trading employed brokers who solicited private investors nationwide to invest in precious metals, such as gold, silver, and palladium. Though false representations as to material facts in the solicitation of funds, Kertatos and others helped secure nearly $1.6 million in funds from the victim investors. The victims were made to believe that their money was being invested in the precious metal market. In fact, however, Kertatos and his co-defendants actually used the funds for their personal benefit.

Mr. Ferrer commended the FBI, FDLE, State of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, and the Stuart Police Department for their work in the case. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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