Lakeville Man Indicted For Precious Metals Investment Scheme
United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker today announced the indictment of DAVID THOMAS ROUGIER, 45, on one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. ROUGIER made his initial appearance yesterday before Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn.
As alleged in the indictment, in or around late 2010, ROUGIER began soliciting clients to invest in precious metals by purchasing gold and silver through him. Between 2013 and 2014, ROUGIER began telling his victim-investors that he had found a company, which he identified as “TAUG Limited” (“TAUG”) that would guarantee to purchase their gold and silver for a set price on a designated future date, typically three years from the date they signed a contract with TAUG. ROUGIER presented some of his victim-investors with a purported contract between them and TAUG, under which they were charged various fees, including an annual “asset management fee,” typically between $1,000 and $2,000, in order to avail themselves of the guaranteed purchase price. In reality, the annual fees were always paid to ROUGIER and ROUGIER never purchased any gold or silver for his victim-investors.
As alleged in the indictment, in July 2017, ROUGIER represented that a different company, “Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Limited” (“ICBC”), had taken over TAUG’s contracts. ROUGIER represented that ICBC would honor TAUG’s existing contracts and offered new clients essentially the same services.
As alleged in the indictment, between November 2010 and June 2017, more than a dozen individuals paid ROUGIER approximately $740,000 based upon his promises that he was using their money to buy gold and silver and, in some cases, that their investments were protected through the TAUG/ICBC contracts. Instead of purchasing gold and silver as promised ROUGIER spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of victims’ money on shopping trips, entertainment, travel, strip clubs and other personal expenses.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau.
Assistant United States Attorney Amber M. Brennan is prosecuting the case.
DAVID THOMAS ROUGIER, 45
- Mail Fraud, 1 count
- Wire Fraud, 2 counts
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.