Federal Judge Sentences Coin And Precious Metals Dealer And His Company For Defrauding Over 380 Customers Nationwide
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A coin and precious metals dealer and his company responsible for defrauding more than 380 customers of over $15 million were sentenced in federal court late Wednesday, February 17, 2016, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. sentenced Hannes Tulving, Jr., 60, of Newport Beach, California to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. The company was ordered to pay a $10 million fine and was placed on a probationary period of two years. Judge Cogburn reserved his ruling on the amount of restitution owed by Tulving and the company for 90 days.
Matthew Quinn, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Field Division joins U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.
According to the filed court documents and statements made in court, Hannes Tulving was the sole owner, shareholder and president of The Tulving Company, Inc. (Tulving Co.), a California-based business that sold coins, bullion, and other precious metals over the Internet. Court records show that from about August 2013 to January 2014, Tulving and his company executed a scheme to defraud customers nationwide by inducing them to place orders for coins and other merchandise knowing those orders could not be fulfilled. Court records show that the customers paid for the merchandise expecting their orders to be delivered within a certain time frame as advertised on the company’s website.
Court documents show that Tulving and his company accepted the customers’ payments but failed to deliver some of the merchandise. Instead, they diverted the customers’ payments to fulfill other customers’ orders, to pay company debts and to return the money to previous customers who did not receive their merchandise. According to court documents filed in the case, the defendants defrauded more than 380 victims nationwide of over $15 million. Hannes Tulving and the Tulving Co. each pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in August 2015.
In handing down Tulving’s sentence, Judge Cogburn noted what a staggering amount of money was stolen from the victims in such a short period of time. He also noted the seriousness of the offense and said that, “People were seriously harmed and their lives are affected. These people saved up money and they were hurt.”
Hannes Tulving will be ordered to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The U.S. Secret Service handled the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Zolot prosecuted this case.