September 11, 2015
CFTC Charges California Resident Hannes Tulving, Jr., through his company, The Tulving Company, Inc., with Misappropriation and Fraudulent Solicitation in a $17.8 Million Precious Metals Scheme
At Least 381 Customers Nationwide Allegedly Defrauded in the Scheme
Washington, DC — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed a civil Complaint against Defendants Hannes Tulving, Jr. of Newport Beach, California, and his company, The Tulving Company, Inc., charging them with fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation in connection with the precious metals markets. Neither Defendant has ever been registered with the CFTC.
In its enforcement action, the CFTC alleges that the Defendants fraudulently offered contracts of sale of commodities in interstate commerce, namely, contracts for the sale of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coin (precious metals). In offering these contracts, the Defendants obtained and misappropriated at least $17.8 million from at least 381 customers located throughout the United States for the purchase and sale of precious metals, according to the Complaint.
In their solicitations, the Defendants allegedly made false and fraudulent representations, including that The Tulving Company was a highly reputable, stable, and established precious metals firm that delivered precious metals to customers; that it bought and sold in excess of $2.1 billion in precious metals from 1999 through March 2013; and that precious metals were shipped quickly to customers after placement of orders and receipt of customer funds. These representations were false, according to the Complaint.
The Defendants allegedly purchased and sold little or no precious metals with the funds they collected from customers. Instead, according to the Complaint, the Defendants defrauded customers by lying to them and misappropriating their funds for improper and unauthorized uses, including for the Defendants’ own financial benefit.
To conceal their fraud, according to the Complaint, the Defendants made false and/or deceptive statements, including falsely representing that (1) customers owned specific amounts of precious metals when, in fact, they did not, (2) customers holdings in precious metals had significant value when, in fact, the non-existent holdings had no value whatsoever, and (3) customers were realizing profits from their investments when, in fact, no profit whatsoever had been realized.
In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded customers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, a civil monetary penalty, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against future violations of federal commodities laws, as charged.
CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Luke B. Marsh, Richard Foelber, Dmitriy Vilensky, and Paul G. Hayeck.
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CFTC’s Precious Metals Customer Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Precious Metals Fraud Advisory, which alerts customers to precious metals fraud and lists simple ways to spot precious metals scams.
Customers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the CFTC Division of Enforcement via a Toll-Free Hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online.
Last Updated: September 11, 2015