Commissioner Downing Approves Restitution to Victims of Metals.com Scam

csimt 2022, Press Release, Securities

Helena, Mont.- Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Troy Downing approved over $340,000 in restitution payments to victims of Metals.com. The victims, ranging in age from 60 to 77, received payments of $14,676 to $50,000.

“Victims of securities fraud are often left emotionally and financially devastated. Thanks to the Securities Restitution Fund ─ promoted by this agency ─ and the hard work of our team, we were able to offset losses to protect Montana victims.” Commissioner Troy Downing said, “The Securities Restitution Fund has made all the difference in the world for these Montanans. While some states have similar programs, ours uses no taxpayer dollars and is one of the most robust in the nation ─ providing larger awards quickly and with minimal red tape.”

In January 2022, Commissioner Downing settled with Metals.com over allegations the company manipulated and lied to investors. The settlement allowed the Montana victims, who collectively invested more than $2.9 million in precious metals, to apply to the Montana Securities Restitution Assistance Fund (SRAF). The SRAF is a fund unique to Montana to help victims of securities fraud.

“Receiving these funds from the Securities Restitution Fund has been tremendously helpful. It really has made an impact. These con artists were professional liars ─ even claiming losses in my investment were purposeful to save money on taxes.” Walter Henderson, a victim in Belgrade, continued, “I wish I had known all I had to do was call the Commissioner’s office to better understand the risks of this investment and check to see if these folks were even licensed in the first place.”

Commissioner Downing awarded payments to all eligible Montana Metals.com victims that applied to the SRAF. Victims who are no longer Montana residents are ineligible to apply. Victims who have not yet applied have two years to do so. The SRAF is funded by fees collected from the securities industry and contributions from bad actors – there is no cost to Montana taxpayers.

“Getting taken advantage of is a stressful time. The people selling precious metals in this scheme were professional scammers who acted like friends.” A victim in Anaconda said, “It’s easy to get caught up in gold fever when the economy is in bad shape, and you’re promised precious metal prices will continue to rise. The ability to recover some losses has relieved a lot of financial stress for me and my loved ones.”

The following list includes the victim’s location and award amount.

County                      Award Amount

Yellowstone              $29,232.32

Yellowstone              $17,751.28

Flathead                    $28,494.71

Lake                           $50,000

Lake                           $25,775.44

Lake                           $25,775.44

Deer Lodge               $14,676.80

Gallatin                      $50,000

Silver Bow                 $50,000

Silver Bow                 $50,000

“All investments carry risk. If you receive unsolicited financial advice or promises of high returns, call our office first before handing over your hard-earned money,” says Commissioner Downing.

CSI is a criminal justice agency that regulates, licenses, investigates complaints, and prosecutes bad actors in the securities industry. Our team can be reached at 444-2040 or by going to CSIMT.gov.

Troy Downing is the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Montana State Auditor. Commissioner Downing is a two-tour combat veteran, businessman, and entrepreneur.

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