Tower Equity, Chase Metals, and Barrick Capital RECEIVERSHIP CLAIM DEADLINE – APRIL 30

Devils Lake Journal

Bismarck ND –  North Dakota Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler previously announced that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and 30 state regulators filed a joint civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against two precious metals dealers and their companies for perpetrating a $185 million fraudulent scheme targeting elderly persons nationwide.

The complaint charges defendants TMTE, Inc., d/b/a Metals.com, Chase Metals, LLC, Chase Metals, Inc. (collectively “Metals.com”), Barrick Capital, Inc. and its principals, Lucas Asher a/k/a Lucas Thomas Erb a/k/a Luke Asher and Simon Batashvili with executing an ongoing nationwide fraud that solicited and received more than $185 million in investor funds to purchase fraudulently overpriced gold and silver bullion. Tower Equity, LLC is also charged as a relief defendant. The defendants and relief defendant are all located in Los Angeles, California.  The case is significant – it involves 1600 investors, including investors in North Dakota. 

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas entered an injunction and a restraining order freezing the assets of the defendants. It also appointed Kelly Crawford as Receiver – an official responsible for marshalling assets of the defendants and relief defendant for the benefit of defrauded clients.

The Receiver will begin administering the claims process. In the coming months, the Receiver will submit the claims to the court for approval to start distributing the remaining money to defrauded clients. As part of the process, he will be sending correspondence, instructions, and a claims form.

Defrauded clients must complete and return their claims forms to the Receiver to participate in the claims process and request a return of the remaining, available money. THE DEADLINE TO RETURN THE CLAIM FORM IS APRIL 30, 2021.

Commissioner Tyler is reminding and strongly encouraging defrauded clients to promptly begin working with the Receiver to request a return of available funds by submitting their claims if they have not already done so. Defrauded clients should direct questions about the claims process to the Receiver. They can contact the Receiver by telephone at (214) 706-4213, or by electronic mail at kelly.crawford@solidcounsel.com or metalsandbarrickreceivership@solidcounsel.com . The Receiver also maintains a website that provides further  information about the claims process at https://www.metalsandbarrickcapitalreceivership.com .

The North Dakota Securities Department can also provide additional information and explanation relating to the allegations of fraud, the lawsuit, the receivership, and the claims process.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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