Judge in Austin Sentences Owner of Bullion Direct, Inc. to Federal Prison for Investment and Wire Fraud Scheme
In Austin today, a federal judge sentenced 49-year-old Charles McAllister, CEO and owner of Bullion Direct, Inc. (BDI), to ten years in federal prison for money laundering and scheming to defraud customers out of millions of dollars, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash; FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division; IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Goss, Houston Field Office; and, Texas State Securities Board Commissioner Travis J. Iles.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ordered McAllister to pay restitution in the amount of $16,186,212.56 to over 5,800 victims of the defendant’s scheme. Judge Yeakel also ordered that McAllister be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.
“I am pleased that this scammer was brought to justice. We won’t tolerate such brazen frauds in Texas,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.
On October 4, 2019, a jury convicted McAllister of two counts of wire fraud and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction with criminally derived property.
According to evidence presented during the five-day trial, from at least January 2009 through July 2015, McAllister perpetrated a scheme that falsely represented that funds obtained from individual customers would be used to purchase precious metals on behalf of the customer and either shipped directly to the customer or stored in BDI’s vault. Instead of buying the precious metals with the customer’s funds and storing customer metals, McAllister spent customer property on BDI corporate expenses, on other investment activities, and for his own personal use and benefit.
“Today’s sentence should send a clear message to those who seek to lie, cheat and steal from others for their own financial gain,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Combs. “The victims in this case trusted the defendant but he took their money and used it fraudulently and for his own personal financial gain. The FBI will vigorously pursue those who carry out these deceitful and fraudulent schemes without regard to their victims.”
“Today's sentencing of Charles McAllister demonstrates how federal law enforcement will band together to help put an end to the criminal behavior of those who prey on investors for their personal financial gain,” stated IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Goss. “Investment schemes can thrive for a time on false claims about how the money is being invested and where the returns are coming from. But that time is gone, and as this sentencing shows, it's time for those responsible to face judgment.”
Agents with the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and the Texas State Securities Board conducted this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dan Guess and Keith Henneke prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.