Owner of Vancouver, WA Precious Metals Firm Indicted for Multiple Counts of Wire and Mail Fraud
Blue Moon Coins took in $1.3 Million and Failed to Provide Promised Precious Metals
The owner of Blue Moon Coins in Vancouver, Washington was indicted by the grand jury on 11 counts of wire fraud and five counts of mail fraud for his scheme to defraud customers of more than $1.3 million, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. AARON MICHAEL SCOTT, 40, a resident of Portland, Oregon, is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment in U.S. District Court in Tacoma at 10:30 on Thursday October 4, 2018.
According to the indictment, between October 2013 and April 2014, SCOTT repeatedly accepted customer money for the purchase of precious metals and coins, and then used the money for his personal and company expenses. SCOTT represented to customers that the money would be used to immediately purchase the coins and metals but instead it was used for expenses or to fulfill earlier customer orders in the form of a Ponzi scheme. When customers complained about the delay in receiving their items, SCOTT used a plethora of excuses such as: weather delays; a supplier had gone bankrupt; a corporate buyout; ice and snow; delayed armored truck delivery; and a bad flu season.
In all more than 139 customers were defrauded of more than $1.3 million. Losses to individual investors range from just over $2,000 to more than $154,000.
Wire fraud and mail fraud are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, Vancouver Police Department and the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC has filed a civil enforcement action against SCOTT and Blue Moon Coins seeking restitution for the victims and a permanent registration and trading ban.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Reese Jennings.