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Press Release

Lakeville Man Sentenced To 88 Months In Prison For Precious Metals Investment Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced the sentencing of DAVID THOMAS ROUGIER, 46, to 88 months in prison for one count of wire fraud. ROUGIER, who pleaded guilty on July 18, 2018, was sentenced on November 19, 2018, before Chief Judge John R. Tunheim, in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"The defendant callously preyed on several victims who were at or nearing retirement age – a population that not only lives on a tight budget, but is also trusting of those who claim to help them live out their golden years with security. David Rougier abused that trust and we are satisfied that today's sentence ensures that he will not only pay for his crimes, but will not be able to harm again," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jill Sanborn. "The men and women of the FBI will continue doggedly go after those who lie, cheat and swindle their way into stealing the hard earned savings of our senior citizens." 

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, between November 2010 and June 2017, more than a dozen individuals paid ROUGIER approximately $835,000 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 guaranteed buyback contracts. ROUGIER promised his victim-investors that precious metals would be a safe investment and that the value would increase every year. Instead of purchasing the gold and silver, ROUGIER spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of victims’ money on shopping trips, entertainment, travel, strip clubs and other personal expenses.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, ROUGIER also collected yearly fees for “storage” and “management” from his victim-investors, purportedly to store and manage the gold and silver he claimed to have purchased on their behalf. Additionally, 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, making their investment virtually risk free. ROUGIER presented some of his victim-investors with a purported contract between them and TAUG, under which they were charged between $1,000 and $2,000 in order to avail themselves of this guaranteed future purchase price. These funds were paid directly to ROUGIER, who spent them on personal expenditures.

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 prosecuted the case.

Defendant information:


Lakeville, Minn.


  • Wire Fraud, 1 count


  • 88 months in prison
  • 3 years supervised release




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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600










Updated November 20, 2018

Elder Justice
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud